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^^^^t'*^ CLvt/tA. CK^ l\0-tA/*Jt^cJjL^ 

(bcM I % 19 cj 

Under the Dome 

i / 

Under the Dome 

By the 

Right Rev. 
Arthur F. Winnington Ingram, D.D. 

Bishop of London 



Wells Gardner, Darton & Co., Ltd. 

3, Paternoster Buildings 


It 11 .0 

Firsi Edition, March, i9<»- 
Siomd Edition, April, x^oa. 
Third Edition, May, 1903. 
Fourth Edition, July t «9o6- 



THIS volume of sermons is printed in fulfil- 
ment of a promise made when I resigned 
my post as Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral on 
becoming Bishop of London, a fulfilment which 
has been long delayed, partly by the pressing 
duties which came upon me in my new post, and 
partly by the difficulty of turning the reports 
of sermons delivered extempore into readable 
chapters. Indeed, this latter task would have been 
impossible but for the help of my chaplain, the 
Rev. H. P. Cronshaw, who has spent much time 
and labour upon it, and even now we feel that 
there are many imperfections. 

I have ventured to give this little volume the 
title of "Under the Dome" because all the 
sermons were preached in St. Paul's Cathedral, 


and it is the Dome which is at once the special 
fascination and the peculiar mystery of St. Paul's 
Cathedral. ** Under the Dome " you are preach- 
ing as it were to humanity ; far as the eye can 
see, on a Sunday afternoon, as a rule, is a sea 
of human faces, all with their hopes, their fears, 
their sins, and their temptations, and the simple 
message which this book contains has no meaning 
except in relation to the manifold needs and 
longings of ordinary men and women. *' Faith," 
"Joy," "God's Faithfulness," "The Pain of the 
World" — these were the subjects which seemed 
most appropriate on Sunday afternoons. The 
men and women of every class who gathered 
there needed daily bread for the daily battle 
of life. 

On the other hand, so completely has St. Paul's 
Cathedral become the centre of the life of London 
that, even in the course of only a few years, a 
Canon of St. Paul's is called upon to give a special 
message to special gatherings of every kind ; hence, 
in this volume will be found messages, howevei 
nadequately given, to Judges, Doctors, Soldiers, 
Temperance Workers, Missionaries, and others; 



and among them the shortest will have perhaps 
the greatest interest of all, by reason of the interest 
of the occasion — an address to the City Imperial 
Volunteers on their return from South Africa. 

I cannot, however, send out this volume with- 
out one word of loving gratitude to St. Paul's 
for all that it has been to me during the past five 
years — to the aged Dean, to my colleagues of the 
Chapter, to the choir, both men and boys, to the 
vergers and working men of the Cathedral, whose 
Bible-class was my weekly pleasure, and last, but 
not least, to the members of the Sunday afternoon 
congregation, for the friendship which made my 
time there such a happy one; and it is still a 
lasting source of satisfaction to know as Bishop of 
London that, like the heart in a great body, the 
heart of St. Paul's is beating true. 

A. F. London. 

London House, 

32, St. James's Square, S.W. 

\th Sunaay in Lent, 1902. 





I. Faith the Way of Peace - ^ '3 

II. The Strain upon Faith - - - '5 

III. The Will in Religious Belief - - 28 

IV. The Action of Faith on the Life of a 

Great City - - - - 43 


I. A Good Conscience - - - - 61 

II. Childlike Trust - - - - 75 

III. Assurance of Salvation - - - 86 

IV. Freedom of Service - - - "99 


I. God's Faithfulness - - - - 1^5 

II. The Pain of the World - - 128 

III. The Spiritual Expansion of the Empire - 142 



IV. The Dead Lazarus in England - - 158 

V. The Comforter - - - " 172 

VI. Things Seen and Unseen - - - 186 


I. St. Luke's Guild . . - . 203 

11. God's Justice- - - - - 219 

III. Is the Church of England now True to 

Her Ideal ? - - - - 236 

IV. "Welcome Home!" ..... 249 
V. The Happy Warrior . - 254 




" Therefore, being justified by faith, let us have peace." — 

Romans v. i. 

PEW will deny that the desire for peace is one 
^ of the deepest and strongest yearnings of the 
human soul. At this moment one seems to detect, 
does one not, in the heart of the country a great 
longing for peace? Whatever view men have 
taken about the war, they long now to see its 
end. We should like to see our boys again. 
We have spared them for the country's work 
ungrudgingly, but now through the whole nation 
the prayer rises, " Let us have peace — if it can be 
permanent, and if it can be with honour — Let us 
have peace !" 

And is not the heart's desire of the nation to- 
day the permanent longing of every individual 
soul ? Truly, it is a very stirring thought to think 

3 B 2 


that this great assemblage of human jjouIs is passing 
into the winter to face a future absolutely unknown. 
The late Dean of St. Paul's uttered a great truth 
when he said, '* We are all of us like children lost 
on a dark common at night by ourselves." And 
the thought that every one of us in this mass 
of human souls is passing into the winter, with 
unknown trials, unknown difficulties, unknown 
temptations, makes this certain : that what we 
most need, if we are to play our parts like men 
and women in it, is peace — peace of conscience, 
peace of mind, peace of heart. Whatever we have 
or have not, let us have peace. 

Now, few would deny that this is true, least of 
all worried men of business ; but a great number, 
if they spoke out the real thought of their heart, 
would confess their surprise at St. Paul's announce- 
ment of the first step towards peace : " Therefore, 
being justified by faith, let us have peace." There 
is no doubt that, to an ordinary Englishman, there 
is a sense almost of irritation at the use of theo- 
logical terms. He does not understand them. 
TJiey may be clear to the clergyman, but they 
mean nothing to him ; they seem to have nothing 
to do with life, nothing to do with the world as 
ordinary men know it And of all phrases, of all 


Faith the IVay of Peace 

theological terms which puzzle most the ordinary 
layman, I believe that this phrase, "justification by 
faith," is the most puzzling. *^Why," says the 
layman, " as far as I can see, St. Paul is wrong. 
In the City, on the Stock Exchange, a man is con- 
sidered justified by what he does. We respect a 
man's profession of faith, but the thing which we 
look to as practical men is the way in which that 
profession of faith is carried out in his life. After 
all, it can only be by conduct, by character, that 
anyone is justified at all." And so, again, from 
another point of view, it may be urged that this 
faith seems a far-away, unpractical thing. " One 
man has a strong imagination, and he has no doubt 
v/hatever in his mind that he is justified, that he is 
all right with God ; while another, ten times as 
good a man, but morbidly inclined, very modest 
and self-depreciatory, seems to have no confidence 
about it at all." And yet another says — and this 
objector would have the late Professor Jowett 
on his side — "After all is said and done, is not 
this contrast between faith and works in the Epistle 
to the Romans out of date altogether, for whoever 
met a man who thought he would be justified by 
his works.?" 

It would seem that one use of the afternoon 


sermons at St. Paul's is to face and drag out 
such difficulties as these from the hearts of men, 
and see if there is not some sort of an intelli- 
gible answer to be given to them. Religion is 
in a poor and miserable place if it is to be held 
with the heart, but not with the mind and intellect 
at all. Let us see, therefore, whether such objec- 
tions as these are true or not. 

And first let us overthrow those very common 
and popular misconceptions about faith. Is the 
faith made so much of in the Bible really concerned 
merely with sentiment or feeling or imagination ? 
If it has nothing to do with character or life or 
acts, then there are no words strong enough to be 
found with which to hold it up to contempt. But 
let us take two or three illustrations from real life 
of what faith is, and from them we shall glean some 
sort of idea why such a tremendous stress is laid in 
the Bible on the possession of it. And, first of all, 
picture an explorer starting in his ship for the 
Arctic regions. He has planned out this expedi- 
tion possibly for years. He has studied the lie of 
the country he is going to, and has learnt what he 
can about the ocean currents and the icebergs. He 
has picked his men with great care ; he has spent, 
or his friends have spent, an immense sum upon 


Faith the Way of Peace 

the fitting out of an expedition, and the great 
moment has come at last. There is a crowd 
around, watching the start ; the farewells are said 
with deep emotion, and the moment comes when 
the moorings are unloosed and the ship is launched 
upon her way. All this is an act of faith, and the 
act of faith carries whatever follows with it. The 
leader is trusting his men ; the men, who know 
little about the journey, have confidence in their 
leader, and by that faith they stand upon the deck 
calm and quiet as the last vestiges of their home 
are lost to sight in the distance. And as they 
stand there they have peace, because they are 
justified by their faith. Can we say that such 
faith has no bearing upon their character, or 
stands apart from their lives } Surely the whole 
voyage is planned in faith and worked by faith. 
It is faith that carries them all through these long 
days that are also nights; it is faith that keeps 
them firm and brave and courageous whether in 
death or life. 

Or, take another instance. A girl is sitting in 
her room on the last night before she leaves her 
home. She is to be married on the morrow, and 
all the unknown fiiture spreads itself before her. 
She has never left her home before. What keeps 



her steady as she faces unknown duties, unknown 
trials, and possibly unknown disaster in the 
future ? What is it that enables her to give her 
answer firm and clear the next day before her 
assembled fi-iends in God's house? It is her faith 
in the man she loves. She has given him, not 
hastily, her trust and confidence, and at the crisis 
of her life it is her faith that nerves her, and sends 
her out, full of loyalty and faithfulness to him, 
and ready to co-operate with him in all the work 
of the future. In the great adventure of her life 
she is justified by faith. 

Or once again (for these things which concern 
life can best be illustrated from life), a young man 
has volunteered for the war. He does not know 
much about what war means ; its peril and pain 
are only dimly seen. But he hears the call of 
Duty, of King, of Country, and he gives in his 
name. It is an act of faith. Has that faith 
nothing to do with him in the after-days — has 
it no power on that young man's character and 
life as he finds perhaps ten times as much to bear 
as he ever thought to bear } Why, it is his faith 
that keeps him strong and brave at the post of 
duty. It is his faith that is the very main-spring 
of all he does. And it is his faith by which he is 


Faith the Way of Peace 

justified in the end. As an Eton boy, who volun- 
teered to go with Gordon before he had ever seen 
him, wrote to one of the masters of the school 
after he had met and known him, " I did not make 
a mistake." 

Now, if trust in the faithfulness of nature, 
faith in a human personality, however fallible, is 
such an ennobling thing, penetrating so intimately 
into human character, how are we to measure the 
inspiring power of faith in an overruling, living 
God, utterly omniscient and ftiU of unfathomable 
love and pity — faith in that redeeming Love which 
is symbolized in the great Cross, towering above 
our head in this generation as it towered above the 
head of generations in the past — faith in the Divine 
wind of the Holy Spirit, bearing our barque onward 
into an unknown future, but pledged to bring us 
into port at last ? At least we may say this, that 
the greater the object of faith, the more ennobling 
the faith becomes, and that St. Paul is justified 
when first among the powers which mould the 
Christian character he places faith. 

But, if faith is so intimately concerned with 
character, and we can only know character as it 
is revealed in works, what is the meaning of the 
vivid contrast which St. Paul draws between faith 



and works as the means of our justification before 
God ? And how can a single momentary act of 
faith like that recorded of the Penitent Thief be 
credited with such supreme importance as appears 
in the Gospel story ? The answer lies in the fact 
that faith is the one great quality within us which 
is supremely capable of education, while any attempt 
to be justified by works is apt to lead towards a 
deadening satisfaction with our present condition. 
Let me quote extracts from two books published 
lately, which place this before us with startling 
clearness : 

In the first we read : " The essence of Pharisa- 
ism does not consist in broad phylacteries and 
prayers at the corners of the street ; it lies rather 
in a low standard fairly well fulfilled, in a generally 
diflFused sense of satisfaction which forbids progress 
by crushing the motive from its source."* 

Again, Canon Gore writes in his recent book 
"On the Epistle to the Romans ": 

" Conscientiousness within a limited and well- 
established area accepted by public opinion, coupled 
with resentment at whatever completer, Diviner 
claim may interfere to disconcert one's self-satisfac- 

* "An Essay towards Faith" (Robbins). Published by 
Longmans, Green and Co. 


Faith the Way of Peace 

tion and bid one begin afresh from another basis, 
is the very attempt to be justified by works." 

" A low standard fairly well fulfilled !" "Con- 
scientiousness within a limited and well-established 
area." But, surely, this convicts nine out of ten 
of us of sin. Is not that exactly what so many 
of us are liable to do ? I will take a schoolboy as 
my illustration. Often in his straightness and 
innocence he is an example to us. But many a 
boy at school simply founds his morality on what 
the " form " of the school tells him to do and be. 
Not for anything would he sink below that 
"form," below what is "good form" in his 
school. But how often, at any rate in the past, has 
the standard of good form been below the Com- 
mandments ? And if the boy confines his standard 
of morality to the social morality which is com- 
monly accepted in his school, he lives up to that, 
and thinks that is all he has to do. Even as 
a boy he is seeking to be justified by works. 
Or, take a man with far less excuse, in the 
prime of life. He founds his morality, his 
standard of living, upon that of the set in 
which he lives. "What is the least," a man 
is said to have asked once, "a gentleman can 
give.^" Exactly. The cry of some charity, the 



cry of the poor, had made itself heard in his ears, 
and his response was, " What is the least a gentle- 
man can give ?" Are none of us, gathered here 
from all parts of London, seeking to be content 
with the standard of our set? Because it is not 
the fashion in West London to believe in Foreign 
Missions, and because a deaf ear is too often 
turned to the cry of the victims of what is called 
" the social evil," a man is too often content to 
say, " So long as I live up to the standard of my 
set, this is all I have to do." 

Or take a working-man — -and this, with a little 
change of language, applies to every class — how 
many a working-man on his death-bed have I 
sought to stir to penitence and contrition for his 
past, and have been met by the perfectly frank 
answer, "I have not been before the magistrate, 
sir. I have never done anyone any wrong. I 
am no worse than my neighbours.'* What is 
this contentment with the standard of one's class, 
except the desire to be justified by works — to say. 
So far need I go and no farther ? And clergymen 
are as liable to the temptation as much as anyone 
else : " I have had my two services ; I have gone 
through the stated regulations of a clergyman's 
duty." Why, it is just what the Pharisee said : 


Faith the Way of Peace 

" I have fasted twice in the week ; I have paid 
tithes of all I possess." Do we not see that the 
reason that such a state of mind is so hopeless is 
because it cannot be educated, it cannot go on to 
anything better ? God cannot do anything yv^ith a 
soul that looks to be justified by works. It is self- 
satisfied and self-complacent ; there is no progress 
about it. But faith is just the opposite ; it forgets 
self, and flings itself upon God. Faith forgets the 
things that are behind, the pitiful attainments of 
the past, and looks forward to the things that 
are before. Faith turns from the petty trivialities 
of life, and busies itself in the great realities of 
heaven, and because even a little faith, small 
perhaps as a grain of mustard seed, is capable of 
education, because God can take such a soul and 
educate it both in this world and the world 
beyond the grave, therefore faith justifies and 
saves, and everything is possible to him that 

So we stand face to face with this question. In 
other addresses we may have time to look at 
other aspects of this great subject. We are now 
face to face with this perfectly plain question, 
Are we seeking to be justified by works, or are 
we seeking to be justified by faith ? We see the 



hopelessness, the conceit, of attempting to be 
justified by works. Let us resolve to cultivate 
in our hearts this justifying faith. For this is the 
way of peace. It will take time, it will mean 
much more trouble than we often give to our 
souls ; it will mean getting up in the morning 
in time to think over these things and say our 
prayers and get into touch with the great realities 
of God ; it will mean not only once purging the 
conscience at the foot of the Cross, but keeping 
it progressively enlightened with all the further 
light God may shed upon it. It will mean say- 
ing, not in a tone of resignation, but as the 
inspiration of life, " Not my will, but Thine be 
done." It will mean being ready to go anywhere 
and do anything if it is clearly shown to be 
God's will ; it will mean all that, but it will also 
mean peace. To be out of our own hands is to 
be in the hands of God, and to be justified by 
faith is to have peace with God through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. 




" Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens, and Thy 
faithfulness unto the clouds. Thy righteousness standeth 
like a strong mountain; thy judgments are like the great 
deep." — Psalm xxxvi. 5, 6. 

IN the last address we faced together some of the 
questions which arise in connection with the 
supreme importance which in the Bible is attri- 
buted to faith. And in answer to these, by 
illustration from different sides of life, we saw that 
faith is a justifying power, because, just as the 
acorn carries the future oak and the seed the 
future harvest, so the initial act of faith carries 
with it the life that springs from it ; and, above 
all, that the reason why so great stress is laid on 
the difference between being justified by works 
or being justified by faith, is that the man who 
seeks to be justified by works has no secret of 



progress in him — he is content with what he is ; 
whereas to be justified by faith is to have the 
earnest of future education, both in this world 
and the world to come. 

Now we pass to the other side — the lurid 
side — of the matter ; and our subject is " The 
Strain upon Faith." And it seems essential to 
emphasize, and frankly admit, the strain on 
faith, because we see all around us those whose 
faith snaps like a rope which has not been 
prepared for the strain put upon it, because of 
that foolish optimism which refuses to face the 
facts of life in time. Suffer me to take four in- 
stances which have come under my own observa- 
tion lately of the immense strain which faith has 
to bear in life. 

There is a man of great power and originality, 
who has lived a most useful life — popular with all 
his friends, dearly loved by his family, in the very 
prime of his usefulness and energy and strength. 
He lies to-day in one of the hospitals of London, 
a skeleton of his former self, face to face with 
Death. Is there no strain — put yourself in his 
place — upon his faith? Why has this visitation 
come upon him.^ There was no special mis- 
conduct, no rashness, to bring him into this pass. 


The Strain upon Faith 

Struck down a few months back by a sudden 
deadly disease, his professional income lost — what 
a strain it has upon his faith, as he looks Death in 
the face ! And, worst of all, he is unable to care 
for and tend those whom he loves on earth. Why 
is it? Is there any Providence controlling the 
world at all, or has the world slipped out of the 
hands of God ? 

Again, within three days, a girl in the very 
fulness of life and health, the brightness and the 
life of her home, not only unselfish herself, but 
the spring of unselfishness in all around her, 
engaged to be married only this month to some- 
one entirely worthy of her, has been snatched 
away from her family, and from him whom she 
loves. In that house it is as if the lights had 
been suddenly blown out, and the cold rooms left 
in darkness. Friends come and speak about the 
rest and peace which she has reached, but it was life 
that she wanted; she was the very embodiment 
of life — of life and activity. Is there no strain on 
the faith of those who loved her ? 

Or, consider one around whom, when he 
returns to England, the whole Church should 
gather with love and sympathy. Consider the 
case of a Bishop who has been compelled to see 

17 c 


the whole work of twenty-five years wiped out in 
blood; every church he built with such labour 
burnt ; his converts, many of them murdered and 
some recanting under fear of death. And, worst 
of all, or at least in addition to all, his wife, who 
shared all his anxieties and his troubles, who 
in that city of Tientsin, where for three weeks 
women and children of all nationalities suffered 
even far worse anxiety and torture of mind than 
in Pekin, stood by her husband, nursing the sick 
while he buried the dead, has been taken from 
him. He comes home. Ah, with what warmth 
and sympathy we must geret him ! Is there no 
strain on the faith of a man like that ? 

Or let me tell you of one whom I saw a short 
time ago myself. He is but a boy, come out of 
prison after a short sentence — his first sentence. 
Every door has been shut against him ; he meets 
cold looks everywhere. He had come out full of 
hope, full of intention to turn over a new leaf and 
start again, but the coldness and the suspicion all 
around him chilled him; he felt the strength 
of the old temptation come over him. He 
believed that there was no God to help him. 
When almost by chance, as the world calls it, I 
caught his hand, he was being swept down, in 


The Strain upon Faith 

utter despair of any help in God or man, to his 

Now, the first thing we have to take care of 
with regard to this strain on faith is to remember 
that the troubles and the anxieties of life cannot 
be expected in themselves to produce faith. As 
well might a ship on which there bursts a sudden 
storm expect to anchor upon the waves that are 
breaking over her. No, we have to find a 
hold beneath the sea, in order to ride out the 
waves and storms. And, therefore, the question 
which is before us now is this : Is there any 
such hold for us in this troubled, storm-tossed 
life? Is there any ground upon which we can 
anchor firm enough to enable faith to bear the 
strain? And when I ask that question, it is 
not equivalent to the question whether or not 
there is a God. Out of this vast congregation 
nine out of ten believe there is a Power beyond 
ourselves at the heart of the universe, and the 
question is not whether there is a God, but how 
it is that, although nine out of every ten 
Christian people would utterly shrink from being 
thought atheistic, or even irreverent, yet, when 
the strain comes, so often their faith gives way ? 
And again the question is, What is the secret of 

19 c 2 


such a conception of God as will enable the 
anchor to hold when the strain comes ? Some of 
you may have read Professor Huxley's Romanes 
Lecture, In that lecture, delivered to the under- 
graduates at Oxford, he pictures, in that clear- 
headed, frank, and honest way of his, what he 
believes to be the truth about the universe. 
He describes its slow evolution from nothing 
towards what we see. He describes also, with 
perfect honesty, the signs of what he believes to 
be its gradual waning into nothingness again. 
And yet, as the lecture ends, and he sees the 
young faces which surround him on all sides, he 
seems to feel that his last message to Oxford must 
not be one of entire hopelessness, and therefore he 
adds, quoting from Tennyson : 

" Death closes all ; but something ere the end. 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done." 

And, though that peroration did credit to the 
kindness of his heart, and was almost inevitable 
before such an audience, the critics of his own 
way of thinking have pointed out with ruthless 
severity that it did not follow for a single moment 
from his premises. There is no middle term pos- 
sible ; either the gulfs may at any moment wash 


The Strain upon Faith 

us down, or there is an anchor — and not only an 
anchor, but a ground upon which we may cast it. 
What, then — that comes to be the question — are 
the characteristics which we shall look for in God 
if we are to trust Him, not only with ourselves, 
but with those we love ? 

And the first thing that we require is that our 
God shall be a living God. '* My soul is athirst 
for God, yea, even for the living God. When 
shall I come to appear before the presence of 
God ?" A conception of God such as the deists 
possess, of a God throned in magnificent inactivity 
in some far-distant quarter of the universe, offers 
no ground upon which the anchor will hold for a 
moment. A pantheistic God, a vague influence, 
almost identical with the universe itself — that is 
not the God, is it, to whom we can cling when 
our nearest and dearest is taken away ? Our soul 
pants for a living God — a living Presence, a 
Person who knows us and knows all about us, 
who counts the very hairs of our heads, in whose 
life we live, seeing that, as it is written, "all live 
unto Him." Ah, surely, it is a living God whom 
we look for. One who never allows a sigh of the 
least child in trouble to escape His ear. 

Secondly, He must be absolutely just. If you 



are trying, my brother, to combine in your mind 
some doctrine which does not seem to you just 
with your belief in God, be perfectly certain that, 
whatever happens to the doctrine which you are 
trying to believe, there can be no injustice in 
God. I believe that the secret of the weak faith 
of so many of us is this : we have got the con- 
ception of a small God, of someone about whom 
we do not feel quite certain. We cannot trust 
such an one — we cannot rest upon such an one. 
If we are to believe in a God, He must be a God 
of justice. 

So, again. He must be perfectly and entirely 
righteous, set upon righteousness. And this 
righteousness and this justice must be the out- 
come of a perfect and entire love, not justice 
tempered by mercy, not justice eased off by good- 
nature, but the justice and the righteousness 
which are the outcome of an unfathomable love. 
Mercy and truth, in the character of God, must 
meet together, righteousness and peace must kiss 
each other. 

Now, it was the conception of such a God as 
this which the Psalmist was able to attain. I ask 
you if it is possible to find a more beautiful 
description of such a God than that which is 


The Strain upon Faith 

pictured in the words which we have taken for 
the text : " Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto 
the heavens, and Thy faithfulness unto the clouds ; 
Thy righteousness standeth like a strong moun- 
tain, Thy judgments are like the great deep." 
And the first question for us Christians is this: 
If a pious Jew could rise to such a conception of 
God — ^that conception which is the secret of the 
permanence of his race, the secret of the way in 
which these Psalms have inspired for generation 
after generation all those who have used them, 
into what heights of faith ought we Christians to 
rise who profess to believe that the incredible has 
happened, and that this merciful, faithful, righteous, 
and loving God has actually appeared ? Oh ! you 
who are so troubled about the perplexities of life, 
you who try to hammer out your way through 
the doubts which beset your faith, another time 
we will try and look into the way in which faith 
comes, and whether some of these clouds which 
beset it are so dark as they seem ; but to-day I 
would urge you to come back to the revelation 
of the merciful, righteous, just, and loving God in 
Jesus Christ. " He that hath seen Me hath seen 
the Father " was His great saying, and when we 
know that this Incarnate Revealer of the character 



of God, after having lived as a living, loving 
Person on earth, has passed into a yet greater 
life behind the veil, we ought to have, in the 
words of the Epistle to the Hebrews, " an anchor 
of the soul, sure and steadfast, that entereth in 
behind the veil." 

But, secondly, even if we have attained to such 
a conception of God, we do not reach an adequate 
explanation of those difficulties of which we speak, 
nor relieve entirely the terrible strain on faith, 
until side by side with a really great conception 
of God, we set a just appreciation of the tre- 
mendous scale on which He has to work. It 
was our admiration the year before last to watch 
the skill with which our great General in South 
Africa conducted his campaign over a vast area 
of the country. As we watched it at home, 
from a distance, it seemed to us wonderful how 
his foresight and forethought have controlled an 
intricate series of movements over thousands of 
miles ; and yet, if we had been at any particular 
spot, time after time, orders and directions which 
he gave must have seemed extremely puzzling. 
When, for instance, one of our famous Generals 
was ordered from Ladysmith in the last train 
before the siege began, it was only when that same 


The Strain upon Faith 

General was discovered afterwards as the brilliant 
cavalry leader who relieved Kimberley that the 
order was justified and explained. Now, if a great 
Commander-in-Chief has to work on so vast a 
scale, and those who are stationed at any par- 
ticular point can only see a little part of his 
scheme, so that to them it often seems very 
puzzling and difficult, what are we to think about 
God and His Plan ? When we look out at the 
starry heavens at night, and remember that all 
those millions of worlds are moving forward 
towards some end in space of which we in our 
day know no more than those who lived and 
wondered at them in the Psalmist's time, with 
what awe shall we consider the *' length and 
breadth, and depth and height " of that Divine 
Wisdom in which "the end is as the beginning," 
and the goal of all things as certain as their course. 
But it is an even more inspiring thought to con- 
sider the Final End of the moral universe of God. 
What is He working out through all those ages? 
What is His plan } What is His idea } Is it not 
a glorious and uplifting thought that He is work- 
ing out an empire with human will, that behind 
this little petty sphere of activity which we call 
earth there are wide realms of activity which we 



cannot see at all, and that He is the Master and 
Controller of them all ? We are like men in one 
skirmish of a gigantic campaign, and the God 
whom we serve is Commander of realms beyond 
the veil. It is here, my friends, it does seem to 
me, that we get some relief to the strain of faith. 
Our friend in the hospital of whom we thought 
that he was being cut off in his prime, that his 
active, energetic work was coming to an end — 
why, he is going to be promoted, trained, and 
fashioned, and prepared by his very suffering 
now for some field of activity which we cannot 
see. The girl who longed for life, who seemed so 
full of life, concerning whom it seemed impossible 
to believe that she was dead, what if she never was 
really alive until now ; what if there is a field of 
many missions of mercy, a field of usefulness to 
which by her unselfishness and love she was fitted? 
" She asked life of Thee and Thou hast given her 
a long life, even for ever and ever." The Bishop 
and the apparent defeat of the kingdom of God — 
what are we to say of that ? What but this : 
that if it takes a million years to build a con- 
tinent, why should it not take a million years to 
build a Church "i And what if the temporary 
rolling back of the knowledge of God is a rolling 


The Strain upon Faith 

back only to leap forward with tenfold power " till 
the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord 
as the waters cover the sea " ? As it was in the 
beginning, so in our times, "the blood of the 
martyrs is the seed of the Church." And as to 
the poor lad who was almost gone, he was slipping 
because he had not cast himself upon the merciful, 
strong, righteous, and loving God. It was not 
because God was not strong enough, but because 
the boy had not grasped Him with firm enough 
fmth. " Ho ! everyone," thus saith the Great 
Promise, " Ho ! everyone that is thirsty, come ye 
to the waters, and he that hath no money, come 
ye, buy and eat." Come back, not to creeds about 
God, not to orthodox views about God, but come 
back to God Himself You who are tempted, 
come back to God Himself; you who are in 
doubt, come back to the character, at once 
righteous and loving, of God Himself, and believe 
that the experience of generations testifies to the 
lasting truth of those words in which a modern 
poet sums up exactly the lesson of to-day : 
" Trust God — that anchor holds." 




" If any man will do the will of God, he shall know of the 
doctrine whether it be of God." — St. John vii. 17, 

A LIVING, loving, just, and righteous Being, 
-'*' His mercy reaching unto the heavens and 
His truth unto the clouds, His righteousness 
standing like the strong mountains, and His 
judgments like the great deep — that was the 
vision of God which we contemplated together in 
the last address. And yet to some who may 
have tried to realize this glorious vision it may 
perhaps seem little better than a touching dream. 
We will pass, therefore, to the place of the will in 
religious belief, and endeavour to trace the action 
of the will in confronting the greatest difficulties 
which beset faith ; and I think I shall carry most 
of you with me in placing as the first great diffi- 


The Will in Religious Belief 

culty which besets faith the greatness of God's 
universe when contrasted with the smallness of 
our planet, and our little lives. 

We thought in the previous address of the great 
scale on which God works, the wide field of His 
operations reaching far into the realm behind the 
veil. But that thought has also another side, and 
many a man's faith has broken down when he has 
realized that we are like insects crawling along the 
surface of one of the smallest planets in a universe 
whose sun is not one of the largest among twenty 
millions, at least, that God has made. As an 
American writer, whose little book, called "An 
Essay towards Faith," I have commended to the 
attention of this congregation, says in words upon 
which I cannot improve, " As we figure this earth 
of ours, a mere dust-speck amidst countless myriads 
of whirling worlds, how strangely remote and 
unreal, like a fancy from childhood's dreamland, 
seems the thought of Incarnation and the doctrine 
of a special providence guiding the destiny of the 
individual to its petty ends ! A great statesman 
on his xieath-bed confessed that his faith failed 
him when he looked at the stars. A student at 
one of our Universities, in the confidence of 
intimate converse, recently said, ' I believed until 



the vastness of the universe dawned on me. 
Now, when I enter a church and kneel before the 
altar, my heart revolts at the mockery. What has 
this to do with the immensities and the eternities 
which encompass this tiny world of ours?' " And 
who has not at some time felt the presence of the 
difficulty which is here so clearly expressed? — 
the vastness of creation, the smallness of our 
planet, the impossibility at first of believing that 
God's own Son should have come down to have 
His part in so mean a sphere. The faith which 
was so bright in our childhood and boyhood 
sometimes refuses to stand the strain. 

But here first the intellectual will comes into 
play. Once steady ourselves by an effort of 
the will and face this apparently enormous diffi- 
culty, and what do we find? A trick of the 
imagination. " Moral or spiritual facts have no 
relation whatever to physical size, for such moral 
and spiritual facts have kinship with the absolute. 
To suffer ourselves to be fooled by what in 
the last analysis is a mere unreasoning sentiment 
is the part of a tyro in the intellectual exercise. 
Special relations seem almost like a receding 
mirage ; the mystery of magnitude is set off 
by the mystery of minuteness. Pray, what will 


The Will in Religious Belief 

you call great — a mouse or a mountain or 
a myriad suns? Size is a purely relative con- 
ception. The marvellous complexity of a diatom 
vies in perfection with the intricacy of a star 
system, but honour, freedom, love — these refiise 
to be classed in the same category. An act of 
self-sacrifice would not gain in dignity and worth 
because the doer of it was fifty cubits high."* 
Follow oiit that thought, and you will see that 
the difficulty may be exactly described as a trick of 
the imagination. If we can once realize that the 
greatest things have no relation to physical size, 
and that all the splendour of self-sacrifice and love 
and truth and beauty depends in no way upon 
mere extent, then the overshadowing difficulty 
becomes a ghost. It is no difficulty to the reason, 
or to the heart, to believe that a planet carefully 
placed not too near the sun and not too far from 
it, guarded with evident care by seventy miles of 
atmosphere so as to make life possible in it, 
should be the home of creatures in whom the 
Almighty takes an infinite interest, and for whom 
He gave His only Son. This can only become 
a difficulty to the mind when we are tricked by 
the imagination into thinking that importance is 
♦ "An Essay towards Faith.** 


measured by inches or souls by a three -foot 

But when the will has freed itself from this 
intellectual mirage, it finds itself face to face with 
another difficulty which apparently has far greater 
substance and reality. "Your faith," says the 
objector, " is founded on the Bible, and the Bible 
has been riddled through and through by the 
attacks of modern criticism." And, of course, if 
we have been foolish enough to base our faith 
upon a belief in the mechanical inspiration of 
every word of Holy Scripture, then our faith 
may very possibly be overthrown in the ruin of 
the fetich which we have made. But the Bible 
never teaches such a conception of itself Its 
various authors write with the modesty of men 
who have to depend for their very foundations 
upon the investigation of facts. The preface to 
St. Luke's Gospel might have been written by 
a modern historian. The writers of the Bible 
write not as mechanical pens, but as the penmen 
of the Holy Ghost, and they remain in knowledge 
of science and contemporaneous history the true 
men of their own times. After all, only men can 
receive the breath of life, not books, so also the 
men who write the books are inspired, yet they 


The JVill in Religious Belief 

still remain men. When, therefore, we set up 
modern criticism as a kind of bogey which 
frightens our faith, when we tremble lest some 
new discovery shall be unearthed to take away 
our faith, we forget that truth cannot con- 
tradict itself. Truth must always help on truth ; 
and, instead of finding that modern criticism has 
taken away the ground of faith, we shall find that 
" criticism at its worst does not touch the great 
results of Hebrew history, the supreme God-con- 
sciousness which swayed the nation's destiny and 
produced the mighty Messianic promise of the 
Prophets. It does not touch the miracle of a 
literature centring in the thought of Incarnation ; 
it does not touch the unique phenomenon of four 
relatively independent writers drawing a picture of 
a Perfect Man, flawless and beautiful beyond the 
utmost reach of poet's dream, which no temerity 
of unbelievers has ever dared assail; and it has 
not yet suggested a plausible explanation on 
merely natural grounds of the great crucial fact 
of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the 

We welcome, then, all the results of really 
truth-seeking, reverent criticism as something 
* "An Essay towards Faith," p. 32. 

33 ^ 


which helps us in our faith. Mere wild guesses 
and a flippant or irreverent criticism we may dis- 
miss with the contempt which they deserve ; but 
a reverent, careful criticism of Holy Scripture 
makes it easier for us to rest our faith upon it ; 
and instead of robbing us, as some think, of our 
mother's Bible, it has restored to us our mother's 
f ith. 

But as the will towards faith gradually makes 
its way through these difficulties which beset it, 
there is still one other which gives us pause. 
" Yes," I can imagine someone saying, " I can 
understand that the numbers in the Bible may 
have been corrupted in the manuscript in course 
of time ; it is no difficulty to me that the first 
chapter of Genesis should not be designed to teach 
us science — matters of this kind I can understand; 
but my difficulty is, that the whole story of the 
Bible, with its great appeal to our faith, carries us 
at once into the domain of mystery. The facts 
are mysterious, the explanation also is mysterious." 
'^Now, the twentieth century," as a man said 
to me the other day, "will not stand mystery." 
But " faith has as profound a reverence for facts 
as science has. She does not tamper with them 
nor pervert them. Her whole search is for an 


The Will in Religious Belief 

ever clearer and stronger grasp of facts. But 
the truth is, that the most important facts in 
the world refuse to lend themselves to scientific 
methods of analysis — love, truth, righteousness, 
the insatiable yearning of the human heart for 
God; these facts constitute the very substance 
of all that is most real in human history and 
environment."* And as for mystery, we are 
encompassed by mystery, whether we like it or 
not. There is a mystery about science, just as 
there is a mystery about faith. " If faith cannot 
formulate an idea of God in consistent and ex- 
haustive statements, no more can science formulate 
the idea of matter. She deals with certain phe- 
nomena, building up therewith an edifice of 
mutually interdependent laws, and applying these 
laws to practical ends. Faith, grounding moral 
and spiritual law on its apprehension of God, pro- 
duces a beautifully ordered structure of right 
living and loving. In both cases the ultimate 
mystery remains unsolved."t O^ course it does. 
We are born in mystery, we live in mystery, and 
we die in mystery. As one of our Saxon fore- 
fathers said, " We are in a room warm and lighted, 

* "An Essay towards Faith," p. 36. 
t Ibid,y p. 38. 

35 D 2 


and a bird flies in at one door and tarries for a 
moment, and then flies out at the other ; so tarries 
for a moment the life of man in our sight, but 
what is before it, what after it, we know not. 
If this new teaching (Christianity) tell us aught 
certainly of these, let us follow it." We are 
surrounded with mystery; nothing will ever be 
perfectly clear in this world. We only see in part, 
and never here shall see more than in part. 
But the intellectual will, facing the limitation 
of human knowledge, refuses for any parrot-cry 
of mystery to throw away that Light which 
has so surely illuminated the darkness of the 

And if intellectually it is true that only those 
who do the will of God shall know of the doctrine 
whether it be of God, it is even more strikingly 
true on the moral side. Many a man knows 
perfectly well that the time when his faith was 
weakest, when the vision of God seemed to fade 
away almost entirely from the soul, was when 
there was some moral blot or fault upon the 
conscience, and that the clearness with which he 
can behold visions of God varies with him in 
almost exact proportion to the care and purity 
with which he keeps his conscience. Only those 


The Will in Religious Belief 

that will to do the will of God can know of the 
doctrine, because only the pure in heart can see 

Or, again, apart from the hindrance of actual 
well-known sin, are there not three things which 
ire seldom spoken of as sin, but which have a 
great effect in clouding the brightness of our 
faith? First of all, there is the pride of refine- 
ment. I know how unjust it is to speak as if 
the poor had all the virtues and the rich all the 
vices; there are none who repudiate such cant 
more strongly than the working-men themselves. 
But still, is it not true of those among you who 
come from comfortable homes, with all your 
surroundings so pleasant and refined, that some- 
times this atmosphere of comfort dulls the activity 
of your soul, and that a Gospel of good breeding 
seems to rise into the place of the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ ? And if so, what we all have to do is, by 
>he exercise of the moral will, to face the facts. 
Picture yourself by an effort of the will on your 
death-bed — and you may be on that death-bed 
far sooner than you think — picture yourself lying 
there, and everything earthly slipping from you, 
the very faces of those you love on earth growing 
dim and vague to your eyes. What is going to 



give you comfort then ? Believe me, it is a flimsy 
comfort in .the hour of death or of extreme 
sorrow to have belonged to a very refined circle 
of friends, or to have earned renown as a great 
social success, with a brilliant gift of repartee and 
conversation. But to have faced quietly and reso- 
lutely the real relations between your soul and God, 
to have asked yourself time after time, " What 
have I that I have not received? and if I have 
received it, why do I boast as if I had not received 
it?" To have taken your load of sin and laid the 
burden at the foot of the Cross, to have kept your 
conscience progressively enlightened by the light 
of the Holy Spirit, to have preferred duty to 
pleasure, truth to popularity, well-doing to fame 
— these things shall bring a man peace at the 

And, next, there stands over against us the 
tyranny of custom. Ah ! we who take part in 
these beautiful services every day — we must 
beware of it. The Psalm repeated so often that 
even its piercing beauty is marred, its meaning 
lost; and the prayers, so familiar that they clog 
and almost dull our souls now, instead of stirring 
\them to action: — here once more the will has to 
tike its part against the tyranny of custom. 


The Will in Religious Belief 

Through the long service the active will must 
be always at work, following the prayers, asking 
itself: "Am I entering into this sentiment which 
I utter ? Are these words real to me ? If not, 
O God, help me to make them real to myself." 
It is the will of man, with the Holy Ghost 
breathing through it, which is to break through 
the tyranny of custom. 

Or think, lastly, of the more subtle forms of 
sloth. Those of you who go to Switzerland know 
what a delicious languor comes over the climber 
as he lies in some time of rest under the trees in 
a garden and looks up at the great mountain in 
front of him, which he knows is not his task that 
day. Such relaxation in a holiday is good, and 
only makes the climb more enjoyable on the 
morrow. Yet are there not many of us who, in 
our spiritual life, are always lying in a garden 
and looking languidly at the mountain of God's 
holiness which we hope to begin to climb some 
day ? My friends, the subtle yielding to sloth is 
one of the reasons why the vision of God is so 
vague. Faith does not work like an idler. Faith 
is up in the morning and out upon the snow 
before the sun is up, when the snow will become 
too soft to tread ; faith is at work, with quick 



judgment deciding as to the proper track to take, 
and following on hour after hour unwearyingly, 
and determined that, if it cannot stand upon the 
summit at the sunrise in the fiill blaze of light, at 
least it will go on 

" 0*er crag and torrent till 
The night is gone ; 
And with the morn those angel faces smile, 
Which /■/ has loved long since, and lost awhile." 

Thus, therefore, we come round at the end to 
the text with which we began. Those who do 
the will of God, who will to do it, shall know of 
the doctrine whether it be of God. It is a great 
comfort, but also a great warning. It is a great 
comfort. There may be some here who long to 
believe, but who are going through a phase of 
life, which many of us have gone through in the 
past, when all seems dark. The child's faith is 
all clouded over, and there is no man's faith come 
as yet. Nevertheless, they who do the will of 
God, so far as they see it to be His will, shall 
know at last of the doctrine. To risk ourselves 
upon the text means at least this — that in the 
worst days of doubt we never doubt that right is 
right, and wrong wrong; that there is always a 


The Will in Religious Belief 

next step to take and a next duty to do; and 
the taking of that next step and the doing of 
that duty is a step into the light. On the other 
hand, it is a warning. There seem to be some 
who are always making up their minds. They 
have studied the question, they have read two 
sides, they have weighed the matter this way and 
that, perhaps for years. But they never start 
upon the life of faith, and they never make the 
great beginning because they forget that in the 
last resort faith is an act of the will, a voluntary 
adventure upon things unseen. Or, again, some 
of you who have begun this life but whose 
faith may be growing weaker and fainter, are 
suffering from a failure of the will. You have 
been stopping still, instead of going on, and to 
stop still is to go back. This is eternal life, 
to know — that is, according to the more accurate 
translation of the Greek, to go on knowing 
more and more — the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom He has sent. Life is like a 
great campaign. We have to prepare the pro- 
visions, we have to study the map of the country, 
we have to look this way and that to be sure of 
what we are doing, and where we are going. But 



we have to march at last, and to march is an act 
of the will. 

" March, march onward, soldiers true, 

Take through cloud and mist your way j 
Yonder lies the fount of life, 
Yonder lives eternal day," 




"And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city wherein 
are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern 
between their right hand and their left hand, and also much 
cattle." — ^JoNAH iv. ii. 

IN the last three addresses we have studied 
^ together the nature of faith. We have seen 
that the first, the chief, reason why faith can 
justify is because it is capable of education. 
We next faced the awful strain on faith, when 
quite suddenly, perhaps, the husband, the wife, 
the dear brother or sister, is taken from us ; 
and saw that the only way in which our faith 
can stand the strain is to hold fast not only 
to a great God, but to a God who works 
on a very great scale, taking up our dear ones, 
it may be into the plan of His operations in 



realms far beyond our sight. Last Sunday we 
discussed the place of will in faith, and saw that 
faith in the last resort is itself an act of the will, 
and that no nobler account can be given of it 
than that it is a voluntary adventure into things 
unseen. But it must be quite obvious to every- 
one that, if this is all that can be said about 
faith, there is a flaw in our jewel, a defect in our 
portrait. All this only concerns ourselves. It 
would be equally true if we lived upon a desert 
island. And yet sometimes we find people who 
will almost quarrel with a sermon which is not 
about themselves, who keep their faith as a kind 
of personal appendage, who are quite ready to get 
a little comfort or a little strength for their own 
souls, but do not understand that faith is abso- 
lutely worthless if it only concerns ourselves. 
We talk with some contempt now of a " little 
Englander," but what are we to say of a " little 
Christian '? This, at least, is our conviction, that 
if faith has nothing to do with the great city of 
five million souls in which we live, it is a very 
poor thing, and if the tree of faith only bears 
fruit for ourselves, it is a barren fig-tree indeed. 

Our subject, then, is "The Action of Faith 
on the Life of a Great City." And if we 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

listen with sympathy to the pathetic prophecy con- 
cerning Nineveh, and hear the words set into 
God's own lips — " Should I not spare Nineveh, 
that great city, wherein are more than six score 
thousand persons that cannot discern between their 
right hand and their left hand, and also much 
cattle — " has not London also its own appeal? 
Six score thousand ! we could pack them into one 
of the smallest of our twenty-eight new boroughs. 
When one thinks of the intense meaning which 
is conveyed to us in the mere mention of its 
five million human beings, of the toiling horses, 
thousands of them, working for us every day, 
of the tens of thousands of sheep and oxen which 
pour into London to keep us alive, surely we can 
fancy these words as proceeding forth from God, 
" Should I not spare London, that great city, 
wherein are more than five million persons, many 
of whom cannot discern between their right hand 
and their left, and also much cattle." 

We first, then, face the need of faith in dealing 
with London. And while with a large mixed 
congregation like this we must pass over the 
worst horrors, which are none the less horrible 
because they cannot be spoken of here, I select 
three problems connected with the life of London 



which test the faith of the strongest in our 

And we will take first the overcrowding of 
large districts in London. I am quite sure that 
you who live in the more comfortable quarters of 
London have not the slightest idea what this is. 
A clergyman in East London told me the other 
day that a friend of his had looked into one room 
in the middle of the night, and had found twenty 
persons of all ages and of both sexes sleeping 
there in that single room. And though such a 
sight may perhaps be an exception, yet in parts of 
London it is most common to find small rooms in 
which eight or nine persons habitually live. Look 
at the effect on infant mortality. What would 
you feel, whose dearest thoughts now are with the 
little child lying in the cradle at home, if the 
mortality of your district were what it was in the 
area of Boundary Street, Bethnal Green, before 
it was taken in hand by the County Council.? 
Eighteen per cent, of the population is the normal 
death-rate at most times in London, but there, in 
those days, it rose to 52 per cent. The little 
children cannot live in such a place, and they 
pass away almost before they are with us. Or 
consider the effect of this overcrowding upon the 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

physique of dwellers in the slums, which has 
been recently brought before us by a well-known 
philanthropist in the North of England. Many 
who offered themselves for military service had to 
be rejected simply from the stunted physique pro- 
duced by the conditions under which they live ; and 
he pointed out, in words that have mercifully rung 
through England, that such a state of things, quite 
apart from the Christian aspect of them, is a menace 
to the stability and the happiness of the State of 
England. Then, again, think what the effect is 
on the moral characters of the boys and girls. 
There are, indeed, like lilies rising unexpectedly 
out of some refuse-heap, stainless girls and bright 
lads who come out of such homes. But although 
we see the exceptions, we also see the inevitable 
demoralisation of many. When children see and 
hear things that no child ought to see or hear, the 
refinement is rubbed off, the higher instincts grow 
coarser, and the dear children who might have 
been as bright and pure and innocent as your own 
are dragged down thrc^igh the overcrowding of 
their homes. And, if we turn from the evil to 
the cure, how difficult it is to see what the cui t 
ought to be ! We speak of building dwellings in 
the country, but the traffic of a morning is so 



immense upon the line which communicates with 
Edmonton and Tottenham, and the other places 
which are within reach, that it has almost broken 
down. We of the East London Church Fund 
have had to open the churches by Liverpool Street 
Station so that the girls and women may have a 
place in which to spend the two hours which they 
must wait after the arrival of the early train before 
their work begins. And if we say that model 
dwellings are the cure, when we have built them, 
at enormous cost, you will find among their in- 
habitants few men or women who lived in that 
area before — these, alas ! are overcrowding some 
other poor district where the rent is low enough 
for them to pay. And so at every point the 
difficulty meets us, and the first thing which 
tests our faith, and calls forth its exercise, not 
merely in our personal lives, but in our civic 
and municipal life is the overcrowding of our 

Then, secondly, have you all faced the state 
of utter demoralisation which exists in certain 
places.? I heard lately on very good authority 
that during an election — when, it is only fair to 
say, all that is bad seems to come to the surface 
— one woman was induced to puf up a bill in her 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

windows in support of the party which was not 
popular in her street. Twelve women of the 
other side attacked her, tore out her eye, and she 
is now lying dangerously ill in one of the hospitals 
in London. Not long ago a husband upset a 
lamp over his wife, and then kicked her to death 
in the flames. One sometimes hardly wonders 
that those who only read of these things in the 
papers lose their faith, and say, as was indeed said 
a short time ago in private conversation: **It is 
no good doing anything for such people as those ; 
they are beyond all human help. Such utter 
animalism, such utter want of self-control, bring 
us to utter and absolute despair." 

Then, again, the most hopeful of us cannot 
deny that vice triumphs in London in a way that 
is a disgrace to civilisation, and that, although we 
can say little about it, there are demons in human 
form who are making a large and lucrative profit 
out of the ruin of their fellow-creatures. More- 
over, the chief difliculty we find in carrying on 
the rescue work of London is the apathy of 
the ordinary Londoner, who wishes to turn a 
deaf ear to such an unpleasant subject, and who 
does not really believe in the efforts of the few 
who are trying to do something to free the white 

49 E 


slaves in London, and to break down those haunts 
of vice which entirely occupy some of our streets 

If, then, it can be demonstrated that we need in 
the reform of London a robust faith, the second 
question is, "Upon what is that faith to be 
grounded?" The first thing in which we must 
believe as reformers of London is human nature. 
Do not believe for one moment that those stories 
which you read in the papers — true stories in 
themselves, no doubt — represent the whole state 
of things in the slums of London. You ought to 
trust far more those of us who have passed up and 
down those slums every night, who know them 
from one end to the other, and to take hope from 
the fact that those who know them best are 
most hopeful about them. We find that boys 
and girls, men and women, given a chance, will 
take the chance ; that boys who would otherwise 
become what are miscalled " Hooligans " may be 
found contentedly playing, night after night, In 
some boys* club ; that the parts of London which 
have effective boys' clubs never produce those 
Hooligan gangs at all ; that hundreds of girls 
(under the training of ladles who unobtrusively 
come night after night to this most Christlike 


Action of Faith on a Great City ^ 

work) are growing, even in the poorest districts, 
truly Christian in their minds, and thoughts, and 
ways ; that the working-man, once given some- 
where else to go to, does not wish to spend every 
night drinking in a public-house, but rejoices at 
the chance given him of spending a profitable 
evening in some large temperance club. There, 
in the poorest districts, we find homes which 
would be an example to the highest in the land, 
and little children safeguarded by their parents and 
by the grace of God to grow up pure and true 
and innocfent through all the misery and shame 
around them ; and finding this, our faith in human 
nature is restored. God did not make men 
evil Himself When God made everything. He 
looked, and behold, it was very good. And if we 
are to take part in the work of God, we have to 
restore back to these children of God the image 
which not God has destroyed, but the devil and 
the carelessness of man. 

Secondly, we have to believe in the power of 
the co-operation of good men. I hold here 
a letter, signed by the Bishops on each side 
of the river, by the heads of the Wesleyan 
community and of the Congregationalists, and by 
the Chief Rabbi of the Jews. They have put out 

51 E 2 


a joint letter, in which they say, "The govern- 
ment of London afFords an opportunity of wise 
administration which may powerfully influence for 
good the conditions of social life. We feel that 
the diligent administration of existing laws might 
abate many evils, and raise the level of efFort for 
the common good. It all depends upon the spirit 
in which these laws are administered." The other 
day, from one platform, there were speaking, at a 
meeting in connection with the social evil, the 
Bishop of London, the Chief Rabbi, a Roman 
Catholic Bishop, and the heads of the Noncon- 
formist communities. The very fact that these 
men were gathered together as one force is a 
hopeful sign of the future. It is the co-operation 
of right-thinking men which has produced the 
reforms in the past. We must believe more 
and more in concentrating together all the good 
thought and good feeling of every denomination 
in the great city of London, fanning it into a 
white heat of earnest efFort, and so purging away 
the reproach which rests upon us to-day. 

Thirdly, behind it all, we must believe in God — 
we must believe that God cares about this city. 
I do not think it would be possible to go on for a 
month, breasting day after day the terrible evils 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

of London, if one did not believe that God knows 
by name every child in London ; that He cares — 
that it is to Him a matter of the most personal 
concern — whether that little child in the slum is 
brought up properly or not; and that He is 
with us to give power to all we do, and inspire 
all we say in His name. We may in His name 
rescue, at least, the children for His sake ; and no 
believer in the Incarnation can doubt for a moment 
the love and care of God. If we really believe 
that inasmuch as we do it to the least of these 
His brethren we do it to Christ ; if we really 
believe that He is in the girl and in the boy, 
and that those who touch them touch Him, there 
can be no hopelessness in the work of reform 
throughout London. These are His people — 
His own, part of Himself ! The Incarnation gives 
us hope. 

What, then, are we to do.? The question 
comes very near us to-day, for on Thursday next 
the new boroughs are to elect their representatives. 
Everyone must realise what a chance has been 
given to us here. These new Councillors will assess 
and collect the poor rate, and the rate for lighting 
and draining ; they will have power to destroy 
houses which they pronounce unfit for habitation, 



buildings dangerous to the public health, and 
areas which are overcrowded; they will appoint 
the sanitary officials and inspectors, and administer 
all the sanitary regulations and the demands of 
the Factory Acts in domestic workshops; they 
will have power to build such hospitals as they 
think fit, and they alone can adopt the Acts for 
public libraries and baths and washhouses. They 
will control the condition and the cleansing of the 
streets ; they will be responsible for the suppres- 
sion of disorderly houses, and the protection of 
public decency — in a word, the social and moral 
life of London will be to a great extent in their 
hands. The State has framed this machinery, but 
the Church must put the moral aspect of it 
forward — the Church must fill it with the true 
spirit. These twenty-eight boroughs will be per- 
fectly useless in the attempt to reform London 
unless they are inspired from the very start by the 
sympathy of enthusiastic and Christian people. 

What, then, are we to do with regard to them ? 

First, let us be certain that we ourselves are 
clear from any possible condemnation. It is 
surprising, when we at last find out, behind all 
the agents, and all the intermediaries, who are 
the owners of much small property in London, 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

to discover that they are not uncommonly most 
respectable and nominally Christian people. My 
friends — if I am speaking to anyone who owns 
such property — remember that no agents, and no 
subletting, takes away your responsibility in the 
eyes of God ; it is on your skirts that the blood 
of the children will be at the last day, if you 
have not taken every possible precaution and used 
every conceivable thoughtfulness and care so that 
the property which brings you in your money 
may be administered as a matter which very closely 
concerns the honour of a child of God. 

Secondly, we can, some of us, volunteer to serve 
on these new Councils ourselves. I know that 
this will involve a sacrifice of many things to the 
men who serve on them — a sacrifice of leisure, 
perhaps of some of our finer feelings — but I put 
it to you, Is it not a sacrifice which ought to be 
willingly made in so great a cause 1 Everything 
is accomplished by sacrifice, and you are the men 
who ought to come forward and take upon you 
that sacrifice for the sake of Christ. 

Thirdly, we who are voters should resolve to- 
day that none, whether of our political party or 
not, shall be sent to represent us on those Council 
Boards who have any personal interest to safe- 



guard there. The weakness of the past has been 
that sometimes men have found a place upon the 
Boards which regulated local matters whose sole 
object was to see that their own interests were 
not touched. Every man — and you owe it to 
God — every man whom you send to your Local 
Board should have a clean hand and a pure 

Fourthly, we can speak well of these Council 
Boards. After all, people usually live up to what 
we expect of them ; and if we show no interest in 
our new Councillors and their work, if we fail 
to make them realise that their labours will be 
recognised by their fellow-citizens, if we do not 
let them feel that we look on their work as a 
great work, then this effort towards reform will 
degenerate to the level of our thought about it. 

Brethren, two kinds of life are necessary in the 
world : 

" There are some hearts like wells, green-moss'd and deep 
As ever summer saw, 
And cool their water is — yea, cool and sweet, 
But you must come to draw, 

" They hoard not, yet they rest in calm content. 
And not unsought will give ; 
They can be quiet with their wealth unspent. 
So self-contained they live. 


Action of Faith on a Great City 

** But there are some like springs that, babbling, burst 
To follow dusty ways, 
And run with offer'd cup to quench his thirst, 
Where the tired traveller strays. 

" That never ask the meadows if they want 
What is their joy to give, 
Unask'd their lives to other life they grant 
So self-bestow'd they live." 

We want both lives in London ; we want the 
calm, self-contained life like Jacob's Well, but we 
want more to-day the living water which springs 
from a faith in Jesus Christ. You who for years 
have been accumulating knowledge, who have 
experience of affairs, who are educated men — the 
time is now come for you to give to London a 
share of the resources which you have accumulated 
for her benefit, that so it may be said of London : 
"The wilderness and the solitary place shall rejoice 
for thee, and the desert rejoice and blossom as 
a rose. Then the eyes of the blind shall be 
opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be un- 
stopped ; then shall the lame man leap as an 
hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing, for in 
the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams 
in the desert." 



Elements of Christian Joy 


"The answer of a good conscience." — i Pet. iii. 21. 

IN the course of the Christmas festival, on one 
of those days when, at St. Paul's, we have a 
few moments' meditation after the afternoon 
service, this question was propounded : " Is it 
possible, in the midst of the troubles and anxieties 
of life, to have a joy which no man can take from 
us?" It seemed promised to us in the words, "I 
will see you again, and your hearts shall rejoice, 
and your joy no man taketh from you." " These 
things have I written unto you, that your joy 
may be full." " Rejoice in the Lord alway, and 
again I say rejoice." But the question which 
weighed then upon our minds was. Is it possible ? 
Is this promise a reality, or is it a dream ? And 
during the few moments then available we 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

answered the question from life. We pictured 
from life a scene on Christmas Day, when 
a poor woman, full of pain and full of 
suffering, was seen lying in a little room in East 
London, after her Christmas communion, full of 
a ioy which the world could neither give nor take 
away. We watched a blind man who, as his little 
daughter sang him the hymn of the Holy Inno- 
cents, was filled with a joy which shone through 
his face, and which was not of earth ; and we 
heard the words which a young officer wrote on 
his tablets before the cancer choked him : " These 
have been the happiest months I ever spent in my 
life." But it is quite obvious that if that question 
is worth answering at all, it is worth answering at 
far greater length. If there is such a thing as a 
joy which no man can take from us, it is the 
greatest discovery ever made on earth — the 
greatest revelation from God to man. This must 
be the water of which everyone who is thirsty is 
to come and drink. During this month, then, 
on each of the Sundays, we will try to discover, 
one by one, what are the ingredients of this 
marvellous gift — this joy no man can take from 
us. Few will deny that it is an appropriate time 
for such investigation. Some of you may have 


A Good Conscience 

read* this pathetic little poem, which 1 think catches 
the tone — or, rather, one tone — of the nation's 
feeling to-day, and describes with few words of 
very great depth the sorrow and mourning now 
in many homes : 

" O bitter wind towards the sunset blowing, 

What of the dales to-night ? 
In yonder gray old hall what fires are glowing, 

What ring of festal light ? 
In the great window as the day was dwindling 

I saw an old man stand, 
His head was proudly held and his eyes kindling, 

But the list shook in his hand — 
O wind of twilight, was there no word uttered, 

No sound of joy or wail ? 
•* A great fight and a good death," he muttered. 

"Trust him, he would not fail." 
What of the chamber dark where she was lying, 

For whom all life is done, 
Within her heart she rocks a dead child, crying, 

" My son, my little son." 

Yes, we may well, at a time of mourning, set 
ourselves to ask the secret of the joy which 
nothing can take from us. 

And first in the investigation we have to take 
note of a marvellous faculty, instinctive in human 
nature, which we have learned to call conscience, 
and having called it conscience have often dismissed 
out of our minds ; a faculty which is recognised 
* By Henry Newbolt, Spectator^ January 27, 1900. 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

by everyone, however they may explain it ; a 
faculty which enables us to know the diiFerence 
between right and wrong, as the eye knows the 
difference between black and white. Much in- 
genuity has been spent in the effort to find a 
plausible explanation of conscience ; and some 
have tried to account for it by a theory of evolu- 
tion, as though it were the inherited impression of 
a necessary connection between certain acts and 
their punishment ; the combined result of the law 
of association and the law of heredity. But, after 
all, the thing which comes home to us is not 
any explanation, however plausible, of conscience, 
but the fact of conscience itself? Every one of 
us knows that conscience exists. You and I are 
fortunate if at some time or other in our life it 
has not lashed us with its scourges, and one of 
the things which makes it impossible for us 
to think that conscience is merely evolved from 
some historical connection between acts and pun- 
ishment is the way in which conscience drives and 
stings a man to go against his interests and against 
his inclination ; the way in which it utters what a 
great philosopher has called " its categorical im- 

There were two little girls this week from the 

A Good Conscience 

City who crept in during the dinner-hour to ask 
me whether I thought they had sinned against the 
Holy Ghost. It was very touching to see these 
quite young girls oppressed by the thought of the 
sin against the Holy Ghost. It is a very common 
terror among the poor. What is the answer? 
Why, that while conscience exists and while con- 
science is alive, you cannot have sinned against 
the Holy Ghost ; you cannot have sinned the 
unforgivable sin, because the unforgivable sin is 
to call evil good and good evil — to say, '^ Evil, be 
thou my good," and it is only a man or woman in 
whom conscience has ceased to act who can ever 
sin against the Holy Ghost. I say, then, con- 
science exists ; that it is the first point of which 
we can make sure. 

And the second point which we must note is 
that conscience, although it is a gift of God to 
man, must, like all gifts, be educated and en- 
lightened. There are some who seem to think 
that when they have done a thing conscientiously 
the question is over. It is not over at all. The 
question is. Ought they to have done that thing, 
however conscientiously ? Has the conscience en- 
trusted to them by God been sufficiently enlightened 
with all the light which is possible for them in 

65 F 

The Elements of Christian jfoy 

order to make it act as God would have it act? 
We read in the Old Testament those strange 
stories of Jael and Joshua. We read how Jael 
used hospitality in order to betray and murder 
the enemy of her country. We see how Joshua, 
the brave, courageous soldier, ruthlessly put to 
death women and children. And the only ex- 
planation, as Dr. Mozley pointed out years ago, 
lies in the gradual enlightenment of conscience 
which has been given to us since these deeds were 
done. God can only get out of each age the 
morality of which that age is capable, and when we 
see the imperfect morality of the Old Testament, 
we see a half-enlightened, half-trained and half- 
educated conscience. Does not this help us to 
understand why those gallant foes of ours in South 
Africa, so brave, so kind to our wounded in nearly 
every case, have for years past, according to the 
testimony of missionaries, been so cruel to the 
natives of Africa ? I believe it is to be explained, 
as these missionaries explain it, by the fact that 
their religion, which is mainly an Old Testament 
religion, produces an Old Testament morality, and 
that, as the noble missionary John Mackenzie, 
who laboured in that district up to 1880, says, 
" the Boers have persuaded themselves, by some 


A Good Conscience 

mental process, that they are God's chosen people, 
and the blacks are the wicked and condemned 
Canaanites. That is why they shoot them down 
like vermin." It is right for us to try and under- 
stand these things, that we may in our consciences 
and hearts take a f^ir view of everything. I throw 
out to you this afternoon, as a thing which may 
help us in our desire to take a sober, Christian 
view of our foes, that Old Testament religion pro- 
duces in every age Old Testament morality. 

But be that as it may. To return to our own 
selves, we must bear in mind that if we are to 
gain this first essential element of Christian joy, 
the answer of a good conscience, we have to use 
every possible means in our power to keep our 
consciences enlightened. Some of you may have 
read a romance which has had in these last months 
a large circulation. In that book there is pictured 
a clergyman who may provide every clergyman 
who reads it a standing self-examination. He is 
a good man, who attends to every Church rule, 
who performs his religious duties with exemplary 
carefulness^ who is most assiduous in his parish 
visiting, who is most regular at his early celebra- 
tions. And yet it is sketched quite naturally in 
the book how he is led up to do one of the most 

67 F 2 

The Elements of Christian Joy 

dastardly, cowardly, mistaken things which it is 
possible for a man to do. He reads a book in 
manuscript which was not intended for him to see, 
and which he had been asked not to look at, and 
then because he does not approve of it he burns it 
without the consent of the author. Now, such a 
story as that may well bring home to us this ques- 
tion : Have class prejudices, professional prejudices, 
the ways of thinking in our own little special clique 
— even though it is a religious clique — blinded and 
dulled the honest, faithful, straightforward dictates 
of conscience, which ought to be our guide in the 
actions of life? We are told, and I believe truly 
told, that it is possible for the compass of a ship to 
be entirely deranged at times by the iron which 
the ship contains, or even by the attraction of 
neighbouring rocks. But if that is a possibility in 
the steering of a ship, does not the experience of 
life tell us it is a terrible possibility in the steering 
of souls, and that hundreds of souls are wrecked 
because they have not taken the trouble with care 
and patience and accuracy and self-examination to 
keep the needle of their conscience ever true to 
the kindred points of heaven and home ? 

Do I not carry you with me this afternoon 
when I say that this conscience can be, and ought 


A Good Conscience 

to be, enlightened and educated with care, because 
it holds in its hands the secret of joy ? Have you 
ever been set to bear a sorrow which the world 
might call a big sorrow, only that it had no 
shame in it? Was it not true that when you 
had to bear such a sorrow as that, the Father 
threw round you the everlasting arms, and the 
Son was there in the midst of it with you, 
and God the Holy Ghost poured His comfort 
upon you, and the holy angels moved round you 
from heaven perpetually every moment, so that 
you found the burden grow lighter every day? 
And, on the contrary, you may have known what 
it is to have something — a little thing, maybe — 
upon the conscience. Did it not sting and poison 
every moment while it was there ? Did it not have 
a pain and poison and misery about it in comparison 
with which the sorrow and the pain of the big sorrow 
was nothing ? If that is true — and I ask if it is 
not true — then what did you discover? That on 
the conscience as the substratum of everything 
else depends the presence of joy. We have, 
therefore, arrived at this first, elementary begin- 
ning of the joy which no man taketh from us. It 
is the answer of a good conscience. 

Secondly, then, have we got it ? That sounds 

The Elements of Christian yoy 

a simple question, but have we got it ? Many of 
you spend your time every day in this City. Have 
you the answer of a good conscience with regard 
to your City and business life ? I often think, and 
have, perhaps, spoken here, of the Bethnal Green 
workman who found that his business in this 
City brought about a keen antagonism between his 
conscience and his interests. He was a man 
devoted to temperance, but his time and skill were 
given to designing advertisements for public- 
houses. He sacrificed his interests to his con- 
science, and gave up his work, for which he 
was receiving ^4 a week. The story may, at 
any rate, illustrate this question, Is there in your 
business to-day anything inconsistent with the 
answer of a good conscience ? 

Or, again, there are some who complain that 
they have no joy or happiness in their homes. 
Whose fault is it? Have you the answer of a 
good conscience, or is it your temper which is at 
the bottom of the unhappiness of your home } 
It is so easy to blame everyone else ; it is so 
easy to say, "If only So-and-So were but different." 
I put this to you as one of the thoughts which 
I would leave with you : Can I, with regard to my 
home, give the answer of a good conscience? 


A Good Conscience 

Before we close we must ask that same question 
of the nation. Has the nation at this moment 
any answer to its thousand critics ? and is it the 
answer of a good conscience? And as we try 
honestly to answer that question, we notice 
throughout the nation to-day, in the midst of 
all the anxiety and sorrow, the presence of a 
strange thing we have not observed before : we 
notice distinctly a deep current of joy. Ask first 
the mourners, and I believe they would answer 
as the great Ruskin answered at the time of the 
Crimean War : 

"I will appeal at once," he says, "to the 
testimony of those whom the war has cost the 
dearest. I ask their witness to whom the war 
has changed the aspect of the earth and imagery 
of heaven, whose hopes it has cut off like a 
spiders web, whose treasure it has placed, in 
a moment, under the seals of clay — those who 
can never more see the sun rise nor watch the 
climbing light gild the eastern clouds without 
thinking what graves it has gilded first, far down 
behind the dark earth-line, who never more shall 
see the crocus bloom in spring without thinking 
what dust it is that feeds the wildflowers of 
Balaclava. Ask their witness, and see if they will 


The Elements of Christian yoy 

not reply that it is well with them and with 
theirs ; that they would have it no otherwise — 
would not, if they might, receive back their gifts 
of love and life, nor take again the purple of their 
blood out of the cross on the breastplate of 

They would give the same answer to-day. 
Look at the volunteers who were a few days 
ago crowding this cathedral before starting for 
South Africa. Is it not true that through their 
young hearts there is spreading something they 
had not known before, something far beyond a 
man's mere love of fighting ? I believe there is ; 
I believe that many of these men are tasting now, 
perhaps for the first time, the joy of sacrifice, and 
it is uplifting them to a height which they 
have not known before. They feel the joy of 
being called as a labour of love from their desks 
and offices to volunteer for the honour of their 
country. Then, again, is it not true that as a 
nation we are feeling the joy of fighting for a 
great ideal ? I know full well that some of the 
nation may have tainted motives. This is no 
place to enter into a question of politics, but 
this we may surely say, that as a people the 
English are not wishing to make mere gain of all 


A Good Conscience 

this warfare ; that, with a perfectly honest con- 
science, we are battling for what we believe to 
be a question of freedom. Our forefathers fought 
for freedom, and we and our brothers from distant 
colonies, who agree with our ideal, are fighting 
for the freedom we have fought for before. 

But if the presence of this joy points to a good 
conscience, what is it that mars our joy ? Why 
is it that with not quite steady hand we grasp our 
sword? Why is it that with not quite steady 
gaze we can look the whole world in the face? 
It is because of the national sins that we have on 
our conscience. The only stains that are upon 
our joy are the stains upon our conscience. If 
we had always been spotless with regard to the 
liquor traffic among native races, if there had 
been no national swagger, if we had always con- 
sidered our Imperial position as a most sacred 
trust for the good of the world, then with a more 
perfect confidence should we appeal, as we shall 
appeal next Sunday, to the God of Battles. Let 
us use the week as it should be used, to prepare 
for the intercession. God will be merciful, we do 
believe. He has given us this glorious mission. 
But we must be purified. He sits as a refiner 
and purifier of silver. The troubles of the past 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

month may be the purging fires. Let us ask to 
be purified for our high condition, resolve to put 
away the evil of our doing from before His eyes, 
and beseech Him that in the glorious work He 
has called us to forward we may give the answer 
of a good conscience. Then our joy will be full. 




" And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that 
Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, Amalek 
prevailed.'* — Exod. xvii. il. 

rj*EW methods of winning a batde can have 
* seemed more useless at first sight than the 
method adopted by Moses. The Red Sea was 
crossed, and the great crisis was over, but the first 
pitched battle was at hand, for Amalek, not un- 
naturally, had come out to defend its own borders 
against this invading host. Everything depended 
on the result of this first engagement. The un- 
disciplined multitude had already begun to murmur 
because of the hardships of the way ; a defeat 
would be certain to discourage them ; it might 
well have been expected therefore that, however 
much he might have entrusted the actual fighting 
to the younger Joshua, Moses would stand in the 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

thick of his men to cheer them on by his presence 
and example to a victory on which depended, 
under God, all their hopes and all their great 
mission to the world. And yet it was in this 
supreme moment that Moses chose to retire, with 
two other leaders, to the top of the hill high above 
the battle, waiting there with the rod of God in 
his hand. It might have been argued that this 
was not only inconsistent with his position as 
leader, but absolutely useless, since, whatever he 
might do on the top of the mountain, the batde 
would be decided by force of arms in the plain 
below ; and it might with some plausibility have 
been added that since the Amalekites were on 
their own ground, in their own country, the 
prayers for success, which they were doubtless 
offering, had at least as good a right to be heard. 
But, nevertheless, the fact remains — '^Behold, when 
Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed : and 
when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But 
Moses' hands were heavy ; and they took a stone, 
and put it under him, and he sat thereon ; and 
Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on 
the one side, and the other on the other side; 
and his hands were steady until the going down 
of the sun." 


Childlike Trust 

Ages have passed since then, but the difficul- 
ties connected with intercession, and especially in- 
tercession for a war, remain much the same as 

1. In the first place, it seems so useless. We 
can see the use of more guns ; we can appreciate 
the power of mobile forces ; we can calculate the 
importance of possessing the best weapons ; but 
to stand far away from the battle, and just lift up 
our hands, seems such a useless proceeding com- 
pared with fighting, and to require an almost 
superhuman faith to suppose that it can do any 
good at all. 

2. So, again, it may be argued that it is, at 
any rate, inconsistent to fight as well as pray. 
Either fight, and acknowledge frankly that Provi- 
dence is on the side of the strongest battalions, as 
Napoleon said ; or pray and leave it to God, in the 
face of any odds, to assert the righteousness of a 
righteous cause. 

3. And, thirdly, the objection that both sides 
are praying applies with tenfold force to a war like 
the present one, when both sides believe in the 
same Christ, assert conscientiously the righteous- 
ness of their cause, and appeal to the same God to 
help them 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

I. First, then, on what grounds do we believe 
that intercession is anything but useless? We 
may frankly admit that there article of faith 
more entirely dependent on direct revelation. We 
may prepare the way, indeed, for belief in it if 
we note how in ordinary life we are left in 
one another's care, and are allowed an immense 
influence over the happiness of others ; we may 
be influenced by the argument that if the sins of 
the fathers are visited on the children, then it is 
only fair that the goodness and the prayers of 
those fathers and mothers shall be visited on the 
children too ; but, when all is said and done, our 
real belief in intercession rests on direct revela- 
tion. The revelation to us, however, is very clear. 
We find that this passage is only one of many. 
Abraham prays for Sodom, and at last is told that 
if ten righteous are found there, the city shall be 
spared. Aaron '^runs in between the living and 
the dead " and the plague is stayed. Our Lord's 
command is, " Pray ye the Lord of the Harvest, 
that He may send forth labourers unto His 
harvest." Prayer is made by the Church for 
St. Peter in prison, and he is freed. St. Paul says, 
" Strive together in your prayers for me." St. John 
declares that " if any man see his brother sin a 


Childlike Trust 

sin which is not unto death, he shall ask and God 
shall give him life for them which sin not unto 
death." Christians are called " kings and priests 
unto God," and we are told that the intercessions 
of Christians are gathered into the intercession of 
Christ, so that in His name they have power before 
the mercy-seat of God. In fact, it would scarcely be 
too much to say that Christianity must answer 
with its life for the truth or falsehood of such 
promises as these. Prayer is a revelation, if any- 
thing is a revelation at all. 

Nor are we without direct warning with 
regard to the delay in any apparent result. We 
must not forget the importunate widow or the 
begging friend. Could Christ possibly have 
meant that God the Father was like a heartless 
judge, a selfish friend } No, His aim was to teach 
us how long might have to be the importunity of 
successful intercession. The argument is this : 
If an unjust judge or selfish friend is melted by 
the importunity of those who cry, how much more 
shall a perfectly loving and just God as He is 
grant as speedily as it is possible the request which 
His righteousness and love desire to grant to the 
trustful prayer of His child.? Nevertheless, His 
answer may not be fully revealed at once. All 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

that we can see of the great battlefield is a very 
small part of the whole. 

" If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars ; 
It may be, in yon smoke concealed, 
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers, 
And but for you possess the field." 

We may take it, then, as proved from the Bible 
that, uncertain as it may seem at first, a real 
revelation is given from God as to the power of 
"God's remembrancers" to move the world by 
their prayers. 

II. But this brings us face to face with the 
second diflSculty — Why fight as well as pray ? And 
it is as well to ask the question in this blunt, 
straightforward way, because it compels us to con- 
sider what we mean by praying at all. There is one 
most common and extraordinary misconception 
about prayer and intercession, in which it is sup- 
posed that by our prayers we seek to alter the 
will of God. Just imagine for a moment the 
demoralising nature of such a belief. Let us 
state it in its barest terms : " There is something 
really bad for the nation and bad for the world 
at large, but we think it is good ; God has planned 
not to give it to the world, but, because we ask 
it, He will change His mind." I say such a belief 


Childlike Trust 

is demoralising, because it would deprive us of all 
confidence in a righteous God. If God really were 
of such a character, who could trust Him any more ? 
If He really, to suit our whim, were ready to alter 
His will. He would be like one of those foolish 
fathers who, lacking the firmness to train their 
children's characters, simply give them anything 
they ask. It is not too much to say that nothing 
would be more appalling than such a conception 
of God as would lead us to believe that we have 
at the centre of the universe a weak, good-natured 
Despot, too careless of justice to say No. 

What, then, is the object of prayer and inter- 
cession, if not to alter the will of God .^ 

The precise reverse — to work with the will of 
God, to act as the condition of its action, to 
smooth the path for its actual working. We are 
told that on one occasion our Lord Jesus Christ 
could do no mighty works, because of unbelief. 
His will was strong to do them. His love was 
strong, but there was no energy of the people 
working with Him, no responsive working of 
their wills, and so the kingdom of healing and 
grace could not be revealed. And the same 
thing comes true in our experience. Just as 
we work with God by sowing and reaping to 

8i G 

The Elements of Christian yoy 

receive the gift of bread, and by digging and 
mining to receive the gift of gold, and by reading 
and studying to receive the gift of knowledge, so 
we work with Him by the double action of pray- 
ing and fighting to accelerate the gift of righteous 
government, which He desires to extend through- 
out the world. 

III. But it is only too obvious that even now 
we are still left with our last and greatest diffi- 
culty unanswered. " Yes," someone may say, 
" but you are begging the question — what if the 
one side are praying quite as earnestly as the 
other? How can both be answered?*' 

They can be answered in one way, and in one 
way alone, and that is by the victory of right. 
The true answer to our prayer is a judgment 
of God between us and our enemies. If we are 
wrong, if our cause, however conscientiously 
undertaken, is an unrighteous cause, then there 
is no calamity which could happen to our country 
greater than that we should win the victory in 
this war ; to triumph in unrighteousness is the 
punishment of devils, and the worst and most 
awful sentence in the Bible is, *^Ephraim is 
joined to his idols ; let him alone." If we are 
wrong, then the only chance for England is a 


Childlike Trust 

crushing humiliation, which may cure her of her 
folly, and may open her eyes to the egotism 
which has mistaken a thirst for empire for a 
mission from God, and an invasion of right for 
a fight for freedom. But if, as most of us 
humbly trust and believie, we are fighting in a 
righteous cause, then defeat is what is best for 
our gallant enemies ; it is the true answer to 
their prayers as well as ours. Both appeal for 
the ultimate decision to the God whose righteous- 
ness standeth like the strong mountain, whose judg- 
ments are like the great deep ; both are confident 
in the righteousness of the cause for which they 
fight ; both pray, if they pray as Christians, not 
for their country, right or wrong, but for their 
country, that righteousness may come home to her ; 
for it is certain that by the inherent righteousness 
of her cause she will be justified, or by its in- 
herent injustice she will be condemned. 

If all this, then, is true, our conclusion must 
be that we are justified on every ground of revela- 
tion and reason in going up with Moses, Aaron, 
and Hur into the mountain, and holding up our 
hands in prayer above the battle ; but the question 
remains, how are we to do it? 

I. First, we answer, with childlike faith. 
83 G 2 

The Elements of Christian Joy 

That hymn which may be called a song of the 
Holy Innocents gives the prevailing spirit of inter- 
cession : 

**0 give me Samuel's mind, 
A sweet unmurmuring faith. 
Obedient and resigned 
To Thee in life and death — 
That I may read with childlike eyes 
Things that are hidden from the wise." 

'^Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall 
see God." 

" I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, because Thou hast hid these things from 
the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them 
unto babes." 

** Except ye be converted and become as little 
children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." 

2. And, next, we are to pray with patient fer se- 

It is a touching picture, this of Moses : " His 
hands were heavy, and they took a stone and put 
it under him, and he sat thereon ; and Aaron and 
Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side 
and the other on the other side ; and his hands 
were steady until the going down of the sun.*' 
Intercession is a work of patience and time. 

3. Also, we are to work while we pray ; the 


Childlike Trust 

prayer "Thy kingdom come" implies that we 
must do our best to make it come. 

In Mr. Watts' famous picture Sir Galahad 
stands by his horse, and his head is bowed in 
prayer; but he is fully armed, and the horse is 
ready for service by his side. 

The man of prayer is also the man of action ; 
he is above the battle in his times of intercession ; 
he is in the thick of the battle in his times of 
work ; he has his face raised in childlike faith, 
but he is armed and ready. 

" This is the happy warrior ; this is he 
Whom every man in arms should wish to be.** 

We spoke of the first essential of Christian joy 
as ** the answer of a good conscience." The 
second is the trust of a childlike heart. 




" Sirs, what must I do to be saved ? Believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." — Acts xvi. 30, 3 1, 

WE are seeking to discover the elements of 
a joy which no man can take from us, 
and have already discovered two — first, the answer 
of a good conscience, and, secondly, the trust of a 
childlike heart. 

What is the third ? The third essential ele- 
ment of an unassailable joy begins to appear when 
we ask ourselves at what point the happiness of a 
man would break down if all he knew were that 
to be happy he must have a good conscience and 
a faith in God. Such happiness would break 
down in the impossible effort, first of all, to keep 
that conscience good in the midst of a staining 
and corrupting world, and, next, to maintain that 


Assurance of Salvation 

faith in God clear and strong in the face of the 
crushing sorrows and inequalities of life. 

I. Picture a man honestly starting with the 
firm conviction that a good conscience is essential 
to happiness. He finds himself hampered both 
by the past and by the present. 

I. He is hampered by the 'past. He is trying 
to become a better man ; but the more his 
conscience is enlightened by the light, the more 
heinous appear the lapses of his boyhood or his 
youth. He may have done this thing or that 
thing ignorantly or in unbelief, but he sees now 
that he ought to have known better, and he 
cannot undo what he did. The friend he injured 
is gone to another world now ; the mother 
he neglected lies cold in her grave ; the boy he 
misled has become a bitter cynic. It was all done 
in the days when he had given up prayer, and had 
drifted with the tide ; but there it all is, hanging 
round his neck like a millstone, and it robs him 
of his joy. More and more the thought returns 
to him, 'Mf I could only get rid of the past, 
if I could only turn the page and start again, 
it would be well with me ; but whatever I do 
now, there will always be the record of those 
years against me at the Judgment Day." 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

2. And, again, it is not only the past which 
hampers him, but also the present. He starts the 
week with a clear resolve : not to lose his temper ; 
to be strictly honourable in his dealings ; to keep 
his thoughts from dwelling on what is wrong ; to 
preserve his conscience void of offence. But what 
happens ? Some quite unexpected thing puts him 
out ; he has lost his temper before he knew what 
he was doing ; he is weak at the crucial moment, 
and so is involved in some doubtful transaction ; 
more and more he becomes conscious that there 
are within him two contending powers — one 
might almost say two contending selves. It is not 
merely a question of getting rid of the past ; it is 
a question of keeping a good conscience in the 
present. In a multiplicity of ways his experience is 
exactly the experience of St. Paul : " The good that 
1 would I do not : but the evil which 1 would not, 
that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no 
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I 
find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil 
is present with me. For I delight in the law of 
God after the inward man : but I see another law in 
my members, warring against the law of my mind, 
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin 
which is in my members " (Rom. vii. 19-23). 


Assurance of Salvation 

II. But if the preservation of an unsullied con- 
science seems impossible, it is no easier to main- 
tain the childlike faith. All goes well in the early 
years — ** Heaven lies about us in our infancy " — 
no troubles happen to us, no sorrows darken the 
horizon ; but then quite suddenly, perhaps, the 
little sister dies, and it awakes our question with 
a sudden shock ; or we are married, and the wife 
dies in the first year ; or the boys have gone to 
the front, and now there is 

" One of them shot by the sea in the East, 
And one of them shot in the West by the sea"; 

or a sudden panic occurs in the business world 
and we find ourselves penniless, and the children, 
whom we brought up so carefully, have scarcely 
bread to eat ; or we lie with broken limbs and 
decayed constitution, looking up into the face ot 
a Heaven which makes no reply and gives no ex- 
planation. I am not inventing these things, I have 
seen each one of them happen within the last two 
years, and it is when some such stress comes 
upon us that childlike faith in God — so real 
an ingredient of the cup of joy— ceases to be easy. 
"After all," we ask, "how do we learn that this 
overruling providence of God exists at all ? What 


The Elements of Christian yoy 

proof have we that anyone is taking care of us 
or our children? We seem rather the sport of 
some malignant chance, the shuttlecock of some 
evil spirits, who amuse themselves with our misery. 
How do we know that there is any light when we 
seem to be dwelling in the land of the shadow of 

So the third great element which is necessary 
for a true and lasting joy begins to dawn upon us. 
We need to be " saved " — to be saved from end- 
less remorse for irremediable sin ; to be saved 
from a hopeless struggle with an evil nature too 
strong to conquer ; to be saved from the morbid 
pessimism of those to whom death is the end of 
life, and chance its only providence. That word 
" salvation " clearly meant something to the poor 
gaoler as he sprang trembling into the gloom of 
the prison at Philippi, however little he under- 
stood the fulness of what he was seeking ; it was 
indeed a momentous question when he asked, 
"Sirs, what shall I do to be saved?" 

The answer, alike to the gaoler's question and 
our need, is one of the best known and, we must 
also admit, most misquoted verses in the New 
Testament — "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and thou shalt be saved." This great answer has, 


Assurance of Salvation 

indeed, been sadly misused. It has been quoted 
sometimes in disparagement of great realities. 
"Believe, believe!" shouts some ignorant revivalist 
as he preaches under the archway to the passers-by. 
"Never mind about works, or Sacraments, or 
Church ; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." 

Or, again, the word may be used so as to be 
sadly unintelligible : "Are you saved?" asks the 
fellow-traveller as he leans across the railway- 
carriage. " * Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
thou shalt be saved.^ " But there are at least four 
senses in which the word " saved " occurs in the 
New Testament, and the question may, only too 
possibly, confuse and distress the mind of the 
ignorant. But, putting aside all extravagant uses 
of this beautiful answer which ignore the obvious 
fact that the answer of St. Paul cannot be divorced 
from the theology of St. Paul, and that in the 
very next verse an explanation follows which led 
to the gaoler's immediate baptism, the great thing 
which matters is for us to know in what sense 
it is true that to believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ is to be saved from the evils which spoil 
our joy. 

I . First, to be saved by Christ means that He 
brings in His hand to the penitent soul a pardon 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

signed and sealed for the offences of the past. It 
may be admitted at once that no one understands 
the full meaning of the Atonement, and that no 
genius has as yet been able to construct a theory 
which leaves no difficulty to the thoughtful mind. 
Nevertheless, thank God ! we receive our pardon 
not from any theory of the Atonement, but by 
reason of the fact of it ; and even if no other 
statement had been made by the Saviour when 
He came, this should have been enough — "The 
Son of Man is come to give His life for many," 
for the sins of the whole world. Those who feel 
puzzled about the Atonement might well read 
Dr. Dale's book on the Atonement, and they will 
more clearly afterwards understand how the Being 
to Whom was committed the judgment of the 
world first made Himself absolutely one with the 
world, and so was able to lay aside His judgment 
robes, to kneel Himself in the place of the sinner 
and receive in His own person the punishment for 
sin. It is not unknown even now in the army 
that if a regiment has a good name at the inspec- 
tion, those in cells are released ; they are redeemed 
by the good name of the regiment ; and there 
is nothing immoral, but rather something very 
glorious, in the teaching that for the good name 


Assurance of Salvation 

of the Son of Man the sins of men are forgiven, 
and that if we confess our sins and believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ, we may be saved from the 
worst nightmare of the human race — the night- 
mare of unforgiven sins. Are there any here 
who have not yet understood these things, who 
have believed in the Saviour but not confessed 
their sins, or have admitted their sins but not 
believed in the power of the blood of Christ to 
wash them away? Then, as earnestly as any 
revivalist preacher, would I urge on you this 
afternoon what some call the Gospel, but what 
really is the beginning of the Gospel — " The blood 
of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin"; "Believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 

2. But, secondly, belief in our Lord Jesus 
Christ admits us into a fresh power of life. Why 
do I say that Christ's pardon of sin is only the 
beginning of His Gospel ? For this simple reason, 
that if it was also the end, there would be nothing 
to relieve us of that other most fatal obstacle to 
Christian joy — the inequality of the struggle against 
our besetting sins. 

What shocks the consciences of men is a 
Gospel which has become a mere shibboleth, 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

the mere repeating of a formula which leaves no 
impression on the life ; whereas the full Gospel 
tells us that we are not only saved from the guilt 
of sin by the death of Christ, but saved from its 
power by His life. Heaven is not full of merely 
pardoned felons, but of holy saints, and we become 
holy by the life of Christ within us. It is possible 
in logic to separate the processes of justification 
and sanctification, but not in life ; here in a 
living world the converted man is also the 
changed man ; to accept in any real and true 
sense salvation by the death of Christ is to 
set ourselves definitely and actually under the 
gradual process of salvation by His life — the life 
of Christ Himself reproduced in the soul of man, 
and driving out all evil before it. This, at least, 
is the central truth of the Gospel which St. Paul 
preached when he taught the gaoler, ** Believe 
on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 

Moreover, this communion with the very self 
of Jesus is secured to us by certain clear and 
definite means. Our faith is not utterly inde- 
pendent of outward acts. 

And it is here especially that St. Paul must 
explain St. Paul. We cannot mistake his mean- 


Assurance of Salvation 

ing unless we come to him with a preconceived 
theory of what he ought to teach. What he does 
actually teach is this : 

{a) **We are all the children of God, by the 
faith in Jesus Christ, for as many as are baptized 
into Christ have put on Christ." 

Baptism was, then, to St. Paul a part of the 
whole process of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
He must have remembered (how could he be likely 
to forget T) the words of Ananias spoken above him 
as he lay blind and humbled to the dust : " Why 
tarriest thou.? Arise, and be baptized, and wash 
away thy sins." 

(^) So again : " Stir up into flame the gift of 
God, which is in thee by the laying on of hands." 

Why this mention of the laying on of hands, if 
Confirmation were not another act which showed 
true believing on the Lord Jesus Christ ? 

(c) And as for the indwelling of Christ in the 
soul, as the source of growing purity and power, 
it is always associated in St. Paul with the taking 
of the ** bread and wine,*' of which he says : " The 
bread which we break, is it not the communion 
of the body of Christ ? the cup which we drink, 
is it not the communion of the blood of 
Christ ?" 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

Do I speak this afternoon to baptized, con- 
firmed, and communicant Christians? If not, 
then I speak to those who have imperfectly 
apprehended what it is to " believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ," who have not yet understood that 
perfect trust means perfect obedience, and perfect 
obedience alone insures perfect joy. And, if 
there is any man here who desires to take the 
greatest step within his power towards a real 
Christian joy, I would bid him, having first looked 
into the matter, come forward and receive the 
baptism which has been delayed, possibly, for years 
through misunderstanding ; let him come forward 
and receive what the Bible calls the "fidness of 
the Holy Ghost " in the laying on of hands ; let 
him determine to abide in Christ, and to have 
Christ abide in him, in the Sacrament which 
Christ our Master chose and ordained as His own 
appointed means of union v^ith Himself. 

3. Once again a living faith in Jesus Christ 
lights up the valley of the shadow of death, and 
dissipates the pessimism of the man who seems 
to see everything lying under the dominion of 
ruthless chance. Do we ask how this great moral 
miracle comes to pass? Simply because Christ 
Himself is to the faithful as a great rock in 


Assurance of Salvation 

a weary land. If Christ really did die and rise 
again, then on the cross He has given us a 
demonstration of love, and in His rising from 
the dead a demonstration of power, to which we 
are to turn and turn again — to which we are to 
come back, as to the shadow of a great rock, 
through all the woes and anxieties and fears of a 
chequered life. Those who have tried it know 
that it is no empty promise, but a most true 
promise literally fulfilled. 

"Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest," 

Can we then take for ourselves this third great 
element of Christian joy this afternoon ? Why 
not? He stands here among us, still the same as 
ever, the power of God unto salvation to everyone 
who believes — to the Jew first, and also to the 
Gentile, the very form of God unto salvation for all 
of us. His blood still avails to cleanse the con- 
science from the past ; His life still flows through 
the means of grace, obediently and faithfully used, 
to strengthen the soul in its struggles in the present, 
and He still stand? Christus consolator — the con- 
soler of the world. 

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye 
shall be saved " — saved from remorse here and 

97 H 

^he Elements of Christian Joy 

shame hereafter, from defeat in temptation, despair 
in trouble, and terror in death. 

You have already the shield of faith and the 
breastplate of righteousness ; add to your armour 
the helmet of salvation, and your joy shall be 



"I am among you as he that serveth." — St. Luke xxii. 27. 

1 N the last address we faced the question as to 
* what can save us from remorse for the past, 
defeat in the present, and anxiety about the 
future, and we found that the secret is con- 
tained in that familiar verse, " What shall I do to 
be saved ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
thou shalt be saved." And we saw that in *:he 
most literal sense of the word we are saved from 
remorse, defeat, and despair by a lively faith in 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth 
for the very purpose of our own deliverance. 
But now, if we would know the final element of 
a true and lasting joy, it remains for us to grasp 
not merely the fact, but the manner of His 

99 H 2 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

We can well imagine that the question of how 
God would come to earth, if He should come, is 
one that has stirred, and reasonably stirred, the 
imagination of men. We have in ancient myth- 
ology many suggestions as to how it might happen, 
if it happened at all. In all the different forms of 
mythological conception God is always represented 
as coming in some form or other of grandeur ; 
and the Jews, we know, were looking forward to 
their great Coming-One as to some great king or 
general who should arise to free their nation and 
their country from the Roman oppression. But 
that when He did come He would come as a 
slave ; that, being in the form of God, He would 
think it not a thing to be snatched at to be 
equal with God, but would make Himself of no 
reputation, would take upon Himself the form of 
a slave (do not be afraid of the literal word), and 
be found in the likeness of men — that was a thought 
which proved to be to the Jew an utter stumbling- 
block and to the Greek a foolishness. And yet 
that was the form in which He came, and it so 
happens that, as we watch the peculiar manner 
and the method of His coming, we shall find 
the fourth ingredient for which we are looking 
of the cup of joy which no man can take 


Freedom of Service 

from us. If we go into the world with this as 
a motto, " I am among you as he that serveth," 
we have found the last secret of permanent 


And that great revelation is made to us in 
three pictures, which, as a matter of fact, have 
changed entirely the ideal of a true life for men. 
And in order to get to the point of view from 
which we can see these things as they are, away 
from that Gospel-hardened state in which we find 
ourselves listening time after time to the most 
moving facts, yet utterly untouched by them, 
let us picture how these three scenes pre- 
sented themselves to the watching, waiting band 
of angels who are, according to the literal trans- 
lation of the passage in St. Peter,* ever "straining" 
to look into the extraordinary mystery and glories 
of the Incarnation. 

The first scene which illustrates the manner in 
which Christ came rises before us when we re- 
member how our Lord Jesus Christ, after supper, 
laid aside His upper garments, took a towel, 
and girded Himself, and went round and washed 
the feet of His disciples. Now, you and I have 
heard that story so often that it seems to us 
• I St. Peter i. iz. 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

to be almost a matter of course. But the angels, 
when they saw that marvellous Being, their 
supreme Captain, Lord of the Heavenly Host, 
at whose whisper their legions would spring 
td service, kneeling at the feet of Judas, and 
washing the traitor's feet, must have thought this 
the climax of the extraordinary drama which they 
were watching, and which alters, whenever it is 
accepted, the ideals of men. We are expected 
to descend to the lowliest service, to be ready to 
live in the background, unnoticed by anyone ; 
nay, even to do what the world calls the dirtiest 
work in the cause of Christ. That is what 
Christian service means, and this thought of it 
has been stamped in some measure upon the 
conscience of man. 

Then comes the second, hardly less striking, 
scene. A toil-worn, patient, hard-worked, weary 
figure moving up and down the valleys of Palestine, 
set upon one thing only — doing good. "He went 
about doing good." Other men might have com- 
fortable homes, but the Son of man had not where 
to lay His head ; other men might have leisure, 
but He had no leisure so much as to eat ; 
other men might reasonably take some measure 
of rest, but the message ringing in His ears from 


Freedom of Service 

morning to night was this: "Work while it is 
day ; the night cometh when no man can work." 
And as He passed from village to village He 
gave new significance to the motto, " I am among 
you as he that serveth." People had been kind- 
hearted, doubtless, before ; the human instincts 
of family love have always asserted themselves ; 
but when it became the ideal of the slave of 
Christ that he should ask himself from morning 
to night, "How much good can I do before 
night-time, and how many people can I help in 
these hours ? How much sympathy can I bring 
to those who mourn? how many in danger can 
I warn in time ? how many who are going wrong 
can I bring back?" — this was a perfectly new 
revelation to the world. But even in this life of 
constant service the climax was not reached until 
black against the sky there stood at last the Cross, 
and those watching angels saw the Being they 
loved so well make that last surrender of Himself 
for men. Even to them it was a revelation of 
what service meant, a revelation of service so 
utter and devoted that it has been stamped for 
ever upon the consciences of mankind. It has 
given an almost terrible meaning to the motto, 
" I am among you as he that serveth." " 1 his 


The Elements of Christian yoy 

commandment I give unto you, that ye love one 
another as I have loved you.*' 

Therefore the call is, Go on to the death. 
When He looks us in the face to-day and says, 
" Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of, 
and to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized 
with?" — in that question He reveals the full 
measure of the meaning of His own motto, "I am 
among you as he that serveth," and names the 
true spirit in which we must look upon our 

And notice that through all these forms of 
service, our Lord displays a most subtle and 
beautiful joy. This is the revelation for which 
we have been searching Sunday after Sunday. In 
those first scenes of His early ministry we are 
told He rejoiced in spirit and looked up to heaven 
and said, " I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven 
and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things 
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them 
unto babes." As He went from sick-bed to sick- 
bed, one can almost see the deep-set joy in His 
eyes as He laid His hand now on this sufferer, 
now on that. They followed Him like a magnet, 
because they felt His love ; they felt that He had 
joy in His life of service and in helping them. 


Freedom of Service 

And as for the Cross, it cannot be only that there 
was a joy after the pain was over. It would be 
lowering to think that He was only looking for- 
ward to rest from it afterwards. No, when it 
is said that "for the joy that was set before 
Him, He endured the Cross and despised the 
shame," surely this must have meant the joy of the 
Good Shepherd, the joy of self-sacrifice itself, which 
even on the Cross was like a cup put to His 
lips, refreshing Him and staying Him, and giving 
Him comfort and strength to the end. And 
therefore we reach by the certain process of mark- 
ing the ideal life this secret for to-day. The 
fourth ingredient of the cup of joy is a life of 
service. Without it we may have a good con- 
science, a faith in God, a faith that Christ was the 
Son of God and died upon the Cross, and yet we 
shall fail to have a joy which no man can take 
from us. 

And on this point may I not appeal to the 
experience of this mass of human souls as to 
whether in their own measure they cannot certify 
that service for others, however imperfect, brings 
joy? I would ask the young University man 
who has gone down to live in the midst of 
the poor whether he has ever known in all his 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

life such peculiar and subde happiness as he has 
known during the months or years during which 
he has done it? Not one, but dozens of such 
men have looked up into my face and said, 
" We never knew, we had not the slightest idea 
until we served down here, what true happiness 
means." I will appeal to those from the West 
End who, in spite of the most attractive engage- 
ments and entertainments, yet keep to the visit 
which they have promised to some sick soul in the 
slums of our great City, as to whether those days 
consecrated faithfully to the service of others for 
Christ's sake are not the happiest which they know. 
The gratitude of the poor woman to whom they 
have gone to sing or read, has it not brought them 
a pleasure and joy not to be purchased by hours 
of enjoyment among their friends } And those of 
us whose blessed privilege it has been for years to 
labour day by day as ministers among the poor, 
know that there is nothing like it, there is no 
pleasure that ever can be received, no joy which 
it is possible to conceive, greater than that con- 
ferred by the look of gratitude from some sufferer 
whom we have tried to help; — the last grip of 
thanks from a dying man, the love of the little 
child whom one has been privileged to tend. At 

1 06 

Freedom of Service 

the end of a long afternoon's visiting, however 
weary we may be, however imperfect the service 
may have been, there is the joy of service. 

And therefore we are right to ask ourselves 
this question. Are we servants ? If we are not, 
then we are not Christians. If we are not ser- 
vants, why not? Is it because there is no field 
of service.^ Look first at the fields of service 
which the homes of England present. We do 
not value the service of those who come to our 
slums to the neglect of their own home work. 
The homes must be looked to first, and many a 
poor girl who would long to give her life in active 
devotion, but who is obliged by home duties to 
give her service there, is receiving a blessing in 
her faithful home service which she could not 
receive in any other way. And many a young 
man who has given up the prospect of marriage 
in order to keep a home for his mother is doing 
a glorious thing — exactly what Jesus Christ did 
Himself. He for thirty years lived and worked 
and kept His mother ; and because the duty 
is so little thought of and so unknown it is all 
the more glorious. Then, again, comes the great 
field of service presented by the slums of our great 
City, In East London, in North London, and 


The Elements of Christian yoy 

quite as much In South London, we have a great 
field of service for die servants of Christ. Lately, 
on three distinct evenings in one week, I hav^ 
seen three scenes, each of which gave a diiferent 
form and variety to service. The first was a 
gathering of working-men got together by their 
fellow working-men and connected with a great 
men's service held every Sunday in a church 
in East London. I see here Sunday by Sunday 
bodies of working-men among those who 
form this congregation. I would ask them, Is 
there not a field of service among their brother 
men? Are not those who believe in Christ 
bound to band themselves together to bring 
Christ to others? It is the very object of the 
new Men's Society of the Church of England* 
(which has now taken its start, and is being 
worked so as to be a great religious movement 
among the men of England of all classes) that 
those who are faithful already should band them- 
selves together and do missionary work among 
their fellows. "I am among you as he that 

The next scene was a congregation completely 

* Offices : Church House, Westminster ; secretary, Rev. 
F. A. Pring. 


Freedom of Service 

filling one of the churches in the East London 
district. They were assembled to see and hear 
a parish priest instituted to their parish to 
take the place of one who, at the age of forty- 
four, had died at his post. The man who stepped 
into the breach is a man who will have in that 
parish nothing but hard work and the love of his 
people for his reward. And I put it to the young 
men in this church to-day who have means and 
leisure to dedicate themselves to the service of the 
Church whether it is creditable to the young men 
of England that there should be six or seven 
vacant curacies in East London to-day. 

The third was a gathering of 400 or 500 people 
in another parish to welcome back the head of the 
parish after a long illness, and, moving up and 
down among them, the life and soul of the parish, 
were ladies from the West End of London who 
have come to live amongst those people, as they 
that serve, consecrating their gifts of tact and 
gentleness and culture in the cause of Christ and 
His people. 

And so scene after scene comes back from one 
week's experience to illustrate how in the great 
mission-field of the Church there is an ample field 
for service. 


The Elements of Christian Joy 

But it would be indeed a narrow-minded view 
of the world to look upon that part of the field as 
the only one. What a field of service there is in 
the political and the municipal life of London ! 
No man surely is serving Christ better than the 
man who in politics disregards his personal am- 
bitions and looks farther than his party's watch- 
words, in order to dedicate himself, often utterly 
unthanked, to the cause of humanity. What a 
scope these new municipalities of London will 
give to the men of London ! These munici-- 
palities will hold in their hands the life of the 
children, the health of the poor, the housing of 
the working classes. There could hardly be a 
greater sphere for service than that which these 
governing bodies will provide. 

And as for those whose time for active service 
is over, either through ill-health or old age, and 
who feel that this call does not touch them, surely 
the words of Milton, as true as ever, are true of 
them to-day : " They also serve who only stand 
and wait." And so, my friends, as we watch 
again during Lent our Master going through 
every phase of His beautiful service to the death, 
let us take home this secret of joy — some form of 
service for others. With a good conscience and a 


Freedom of Service 

humble faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ, let 
us embark on a life of service, and whatever 
happens — adversity, trouble, ill-health, or any 
other trial that may fall upon us — we shall have 
the secret of joy which no man can take from us, 
"the light that never was on sea or land," a joy 
which the world can neither give nor take away. 


Miscellaneous Addresses 



*' Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of 
God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, 
as unto a faithful Creator." — i Pet. iv. 19. 

"AS unto a faithful Creator." 

-^^ Among all the different characteristics 
in the character of God — His strict and impartial 
justice, His abounding love, the consuming fire of 
His purity and energy — there is one which even 
more than all others gives us confidence in Him, 
the characteristic of faithfulness. 

Think for a moment how much we value 
faithfulness among our friends on earth. " Faith- 
ful," we say, " are the wounds of a friend." If we 
are sure that our friend loves us, if we are certain 
that what he speaks is meant for our good, we 
can take anything from him, however painful, 
can receive from his hand the blow which he may 
feel he must give. 

115 1 2 

God^s Faithfulness 

Or, see the faithfulness of a mother's love. 
Rizpah "took sackcloth and spread it for her 
upon the rock," and watched the dead bodies 
of her sons, and "suffered neither the birds of 
the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of 
the field by night." But she is only an old-world 
type of that which is equally revealed under modern 
conditions — the faithfulness, the perfect faithful- 
ness, of a mother's love, always ready on every 
emergency, at any moment, to be of service to all 
her children. Or, again, consider the faithfulness 
of two whom God has really joined together. They 
have a faithful courtship ; they are faithful during 
the opening years of their married life. Through 
unromantic middle age they are still all in all to 
one another, and in old age you see them look 
across the table at one another with eyes whose 
meaning passes all describing. And when the 
time comes to face the dark valley, hand in hand, 
as It were, together they go down into the 
shadow, only to reappear together, as we firmly 
believe, in the land of light upon the farther side. 
Faithfulness is the most beautiful thing which we 
have on earth. How, then, does this most touch- 
ing characteristic appear in God ? 

You will notice the special form in which 

God^s Faithfulness 


St. Peter brings home his great conviction and 
appeal. In order to speak of faithfulness in 
God, especially as a faithful Creator, he might 
have taken the uniformity of Nature. What 
science calls the uniformity of Nature, faith calls 
the faithfulness of God. "While the earth 
remaineth, summer and winter, seed-time and 
harvest, shall not cease." They do not cease, 
and the steadfastness of natural law is for us 
illuminated by the promise of God. Or he might 
have taken the faithfulness of God in history. 
When we study history one of the most striking 
things surely is that righteousness does exalt a 
nation ; that virtue, after all, is infallibly at last 
self-rewarding, and vice infallibly self- debasing. 
And this, because God is faithful : " His righteous- 
ness standeth like a strong mountain ; His judg- 
ments are like the great deep." 

But St. Peter chooses by preference another 
great field upon which may be tested the faithful- 
ness of God. He chooses the land of Trouble. 
What a wonderful land that is I I suppose a 
clergyman sees more of it than almost anyone, 
because time after time he has to go with some 
sufferer into that land. He has to feel his way 
by the rivers and explore the dark places ; he 


God^s Faithfulness 

must look up to see what gleams of light may be 
shining through the cloud. And therefore we 
of the clergy feel it quite natural that St. Peter 
should choose the land of Trouble as the testing- 
place of the faithfulness of God. But it is a 
grim place of trial. Just as nothing is so foolish 
as to underrate difficulties about religion, so 
nothing is so shallow as to underrate the crushing 
burden of the troubles which men and women 
have on earth sometimes to bear. The only 
wonder is, not that they feel them so much, 
but that they bear them to the end at all. I 
know of a young priest, who has only lately 
married a wife whom he dearly loves. Now, 
within a few weeks, she lies under the doom of a 
terrible operation, and that bright joy of his, 
bright as it was, is completely overcast. Another 
man whom I saw not long ago, has had hard work 
all his life, and nothing to give him gain from 
it. Suddenly a hand was outstretched, as it were, 
from heaven, with a bright and beautiful cup of 
joy. He looked up almost astohished with 
gratitude, and just as he was about to drink of 
the cup, all of a sudden some unseen hand 
dashed it out of his hand. When I last saw him 
he was looking up with the puzzled, horrified 


God^s Faithfulness 

expression of one who is tempted to wonder 
whether the sceptics are right, after all, when they 
say that we are like smaller animals, played with 
before being devoured by some larger one, and 
whether Professor Huxley was right when he 
described men as playing a game of chess with an 
unseen adversary who has no mercy, and never 
passes, over a mistake. Or, again, I have seen a 
young woman at one moment full of life, rich, 
and happy, and prosperous, and then driven to 
face the blighting change by which she and her 
brothers and her mother have been left to the 
not too tender mercies of the world. One might 
go on hour after hour with cases from the land of 
Trouble, and when I stopped you would take up 
the story out of your own experience. The land 
of Trouble is a great and terrible reality. And 
so comes the great question — is God faithful here 
also? Is St. Peter right when he says, "Let 
them that suffer according to the will of God 
commit the keeping of their souls to Him in 
well-doing as unto a faithful Creator "? 

And as we put together notes which explorers 
have made in the land of Trouble, there is one 
stage which seems nearly always to be reached 
first, where we experience what a Scotch minister, 


God^s Faithfulness 

ill a very bright and attractive book, has called 
"the Finding of Nothing." There are many who 
lose their faith because, when trouble comes, they 
find nothing to depend upon. But they must re- 
member that the human mind is, after all, a feeble 
thing, a frail thing, and the sudden shock which 
trouble brings often brings with it at the beginning 
the sense of finding nothing. It is that sense of 
loneliness, of almost desertion, which our Lord 
Jesus Christ Himself felt in His trouble when He 
cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken 
Me?'* Then comes the second stage, and here 
comes the real, test of a man. Look for a moment 
at Job, It makes no difference for our purpose 
whether the Book of Job is a drama or a history ; 
it makes no difference at what date the book was 
written. It is true for all time to human nature, 
and when Job was "considered"* he had every- 
thing to make him, as his wife suggested he should, 
" curse God and die." He had satisfied his con- 
science. He had been most kind to the poor all his 
life ; he had lived as perfectly righteous a life as he 
knew how to live, and when suddenly everything 
was taken from him which he cared for at all, and 
his wife said, "Curse God and die," the trial 

• *' Hast thou considered My servant Job ?" 

God^s Faithfulness 

pierced through to his very soul. But note his 
answers ; they form some of the most touching 
passages in literature. ** The Lord gave and the 
Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of 
the Lord." "Shall I receive from the hand of 
the Lord good and not receive evil?" And 
then, as though he saw through the darkness the 
glimpse, as it were, of some mysterious being, he 
said, '* Though He slay me, yet will I trust 
Him." Again, look at our Lord Jesus Christ 
in the Garden of Gethsemane. Everything was 
against Him, too ; the crushing humiliation and 
pain that were about to fall upon Him hung over 
Him like a great black cloud in the garden. 
What did He do? Did He accept the lower 
help? Did He summon "twelve legions of 
angels" to come to His assistance, to get Him 
out of the trouble ? No ; kneeling there a few 
paces from His friends, feeling their sympathy — 
or longing to feel it — having them near Him, He 
prayed over and over again, " Not My will, but 
Thine be done." And so, exactly, when our Geth- 
semane comes it is a test of what a man is. Shall 
we run away from the trouble ? shall we lie down 
under it ? This is the temptation ; but if we 
follow Christ we shall kneel by Him and say, "Not 


God^s Faithfulness 

my will, but Thine be done." We shall have — we 
shall like to have — a few chosen friends watching 
with us ; but the battle is to be fought a few paces 
even from them, and the prayer is to be repeated 
until it is the settled will and conviction of the 
man's heart. 

But you say, Yes ; that is the test of a man, 
but what is the test of God ? Is there anything 
to prove that God is faithful, a real present help, 
in the time of trouble ? And, of course, in 
answering a question like this, it is a matter of 
witness. You cannot positively prove, so as to 
convey a formal demonstration from yourself to 
another, that it is so. All the Gospel truths can 
only be witnessed to. "We are witnesses of 
these things." And I ask those who have ex- 
plored the land of Trouble whether they cannot 
witness to these three things : First, that al- 
though the fire of suffering is sometimes very 
hot indeed — for, remember. He sits as a refiner 
and purifier of silver, and it wants a great 
deal of heat to purify silver — yet if a man does 
pray that prayer, if he has prepared himself in 
Gethsemane, then he is conscious of an unseen 
and mysterious strength which is given him in 
the time of trouble ; he is conscious of a great 


God^s Faithfulness 

strong Hand, as it were, holding him ; he is 
conscious of some Power which is tempering the 
fire so that he can just bear it. This shows that 
the promise is being fulfilled, that no temptation 
shall overtake him which is greater than he is able 
to bear. I have seen a man who lost his wife after 
the first year of wedded life kneel, four days after 
her funeral, by her grave ; and he was so filled with 
that Divine supernatural strength that he knelt 
there calm and self-contained in the strength of 
God. God the Father was faithful to him. He 
trusted his soul to the faithful Creator, and the 
faithful Creator was true to him. . 

And, secondly, is it not true that in the dark- 
ness of the land of Trouble comes also a mysterious 
form — Jesus Christ.? You remember how the 
boy David, in the great poem of Robert Brown- 
ing, comforts the poor depressed Saul. He goes 
through all the lower comforts, tells him of the 
brightness of life — 

" How good is man's life, the mere living, how fit to employ- 
All the heart, and the soul, and the senses for ever in joy." 

He speaks of the grandeur of kingship, and 
then he leads up to the last comfort. He says : 

« O, Saul it shall be 
A face like my face that receives thee; a man like to me 

God^s Faithfulness 

Thou shalt love and be loved by for ever; a hand like this 

Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee ! See the 

Christ stand I" 

And SO it is. He comes through the darkness of 
the land of Trouble with a reality we scarcely know 
in time of joy ; He comes, bringing with Him 
the cup of suffering which He tasted Himself — 
nay, drank to the dregs — and saying, " Drink with 
Me." Shall we refuse? No, not for Paradise. 

And, as in the beginning the Holy Spirit, the 
Spirit of order, brought the kosmos — order — out of 
chaos, so now that same Holy Spirit takes His 
part in the time of trouble. He descends upon 
the tortured soul with the most marvellous 
delicacy of touch, like a holy, gentle dove, 
brooding upon the soul. He whispers that, 
after all, life is worth living when there are 
other souls in trouble to be comforted. He 
speaks, too, of another world where there is no 
pain ; He whispers of noble deeds which yet 
may be done in life ; and, soothing the soul 
in inexpressible ways. He shows Himself what 
He is called, the Comforter — the Comforter 
because the " strengthener " of the soul. Is it 
not true — the appeal is to those who have suffered 


God^s Faithfulness 

trouble — that God is faithful after this manner? 
Can we not add our own witness to that which 
finds expression in the poem from which I have 
already quoted ? 

" Hast thou loved the white locks of thy father, whose sword 

thou didst guard 
When he trusted thee forth with his armies for glorious 

reward ? 
Didst thou see the thin hands of thy mother, held up as 

men sung 
" The low song of the nearly-departed, and hear her faint 

Joining in while it could to the witness, 'Let one more 

I have lived, seen God's hand through a lifetime, and all 

was for best * ?" 

But one word as to the conditions of receiving 
the faithfulness of God. St. Peter, with his 
wonderful touch, gives three of them. First, 
those that suffer must suffer according to the 
will of God. It is no use laying upon others 
or upon God the blame of suffering which comes 
from our own faults, from our own temper. It 
is easy enough to pose as a martyr, whereas, as a 
matter of fact, sometimes the pain and sadness come 
entirely and wholly from our own fault. Thank 
God He does not desert us even then. He is 
still a faithful Creator. But we must come with 
tears of penitence and ask for His faithfulness. 


God^s Faithfulness 

So, again, the sufFering of others must be 
according to the will of God. One of the most 
awful sentences in the whole Bible is this : ** The 
Son of Man goeth as it is written of Him, but 
woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is 
betrayed." It is hard to reconcile the free will of 
a man like Judas with the destinies and designs of 
God. Why should Judas be blamed, when with- 
out Judas the Son of Man could not have suffered ? 
But though the explanation of the problem is 
difficult, the facts are certain. The Son of Man 
goes with brave, fearless eyes to the death marked 
out for Him, but woe to him by whom the Son 
of Man has been betrayed. It were better for 
that man if he had never been born. There may 
be some of us who have to ask the question, Are 
we betraying the Son of Man ? Are there some 
poor servants in our household whose lives we 
make a burden to them? some young man in 
the office for whom our management of our 
business makes it almost impossible to be clean, 
honest, and true ? We have to ask these questions 
in our hearts searchingly. So, again, we have the 
second note here, *' Commit the keeping of thy 
soul to Him.'* There is a beautiful sentence 
which we use in our services when we pray that 


God^s Faithfulness 

the peace of God shall keep our hearts and minds. 
The real meaning is, shall garrison or guard them, 
like an army which comes and settles down in 
tents and garrisons the whole field. This is the 
answer to complete self-surrender of the soul. 
Where the hosts of God settle down, complete 
peace reigns. 

And, lastly, "in well-doing." No morbid 
retrospect, no craving after a lost Paradise — if it 
is lost — no wrapping one's self up in selfish 
sorrow. No, the soul must fling itself forward 
in " well-doing," in good works. It must throw 
itself all the more forward for the sorrow of the 
past. The soul that does so inherits and deserves 
the faithfulness of God. " Despise not Thou the 
work of Thine own hands " — that comes to be the 
prayer in time of trouble — the strong prayer from 
the Psalms which Bishop Andrewes so constantly 
used. It is an appeal almost to the pride of the 
Creator, certainly to His honour. " Despise not 
Thou the work of Thine own hands," and the 
answer comes back from heaven, " I will never 
leave thee nor forsake thee." " I am the Lord ; 
I change not. Therefore (and, we may add, 
*only therefore') ye sons of Jacob are not con- 
sumed " (Mai. iii. 6). 




" The whole creation groaneth and travailcth in pain." — 
Rom. viii. 22. 

TT^HERE can be little doubt that the pain of 
^ the world is one of the great standing diffi- 
culties in the way of a belief in a good God. 
Read almost any of the writings of the great 
sceptics, and you will find that all their most 
powerful passages relate to the pain of the world 
— the sudden accident that sweeps away hundreds 
in a moment, the horrors of war, or the long, 
lingering illness of some loved one. Or when we 
turn to the thoughts among uneducated savages 
about some greater being than themselves, we find 
them almost always shaped by the thought of pain. 

♦ A sermon preached on behalf of the Metropolitan 
Hospital Sunday Fund on Sunday afternoon, June 24, 1900, 
being the Second Sunday after Trinity. 


The Pain of the IVorld 

You remember that wonderful analysis of the 
idea of a savage about his god in the thoughts 
which Browning sets in the mouth of Caliban 
upon Setebos, his god. Every ache and pain 
which came from the fever of the marshes of his 
island he attributed to the pinching and torturing 
of his god. He thought that this being must 
have no mercy. " Thinketh," so the phrase runs, 
" he dwelleth in the cold of the moon ?" When 
he turned to ask himself, in his blind way, what 
was the origin of creation, "Thinketh, it came 
of being ill at ease ?" " He made all these, and 
more ; made all we see, and us, in spite." And, 
when we turn to ourselves, do I carry you with 
me when I say that some of our darkest hours 
of doubt and distress have been when we were 
watching the lingering pain of someone whom 
we loved ? We pray for a night's sleep for the 
dear mother, or the dear father, but no sleep 
comes at all. We simply long ourselves to 
relieve, if only by a little, the lingering anguish 
of the cancer eating away the strength ; but 
nothing happens, no relief is given ; the doctors 
do what they can, the nurse toils on night after 
night, the very schoolboy hushes his voice, the 
children cease their play, but God, what does 

129 K 

The Pain of the World 

God do ? He seems to take no notice. He does 
not seem to care, and a mocking voice repeats 
that terrible line : 

" On the hills, like gods together, careless of mankini" 

Nor IS it any use at all underrating the serious- 
ness of the problem. Nothing is so irritating to 
thinking people as to try and make out that these 
problems are not problems, which we have seriously 
to consider ; the full reason we can never know — 

"We suffer, why we suffer, that is hid 
With God's foreknowledge in the clouds of Heaven."* 

It is no good for a moment underrating the 
horrors of a batdefield, or trying to minimise the 
awful shock of a railway accident No, it is use- 
less to deny that there is a great mystery in pain 
and suffering, and a mystery which in this world 
we never shall fully understand. But that does 
not prevent us, in a Christian church on Sunday 
afternoon, tracing with eagerness the light which 
is thrown by the Christian revelation on these 
great problems, and it will go hard with us if we 
cannot find some light thrown upon the problem 
of pain. 

* Mrs. Hamilton King, " The Disciples." 

The Pain of the World 

I. And the first thing for us all to realise is 
that the thing which we quarrel with is not pain 
at all, but what pain produces. Pain is the great 
life-preserver of the world. But the real fact 
which, we sometimes think, makes it impossible 
for us to believe in the love of God, is not the 
pain, but what produces the pain — the mortality of 
the body, old age, and gradual death. And so 
we must ask whether the presence of decay, old 
age, infirmity, and death does really demonstrate 
the carelessness or the callousness of God ? And 
to answer that, we must ask one question more : 
Why was the world created at all? What was 
the object of creation ? Why is it that when God 
was perfect in Himself, He created men and 
women at all? And there has never been any 
intelligible answer to that question, except this, 
that He created in order to produce more 
happiness, out of a pure and spontaneous desire 
to have more thousands and millions of happy 
people. Now, notice the bearing of this upon 
decay and death. If there were no decay and 
death, and no mortality, there would be a thousand 
times less happiness in the world than there is. 
If the millions who live on this planet were to 
perpetually live here, generation after generation, 

131 K2 

The Pain of the World 

aeon after aeon, and never to make way for 
another generation to come, it is perfectly clear 
that those millions would make it impossible in 
the ages for millions of others to find a place for 
existence at all ; and therefore we begin to see 
that the arrangement under which one genera- 
tion passes away and makes way for another, even 
from the natural point of view, is something which 
does not demonstrate for a moment the unkind- 
ness or the callousness of God. If you think of 
it, one of the most touching scenes in life is to see 
a grandfather with his grandchildren on his knee, 
or the mother and father with their children 
gathered round them. But that co-existence of the 
old and the young, that love of a grandfather for 
his grandchildren, becomes impossible unless the 
bodily frame which is given us on earth does slowly 
decay, and the tired servant is laid to rest to make 
way for the child that is born to-day. And if that 
is so from a natural point of view, ten times more 
is it true when we take the Christian doctrine of 
another world. The whole scene, then, becomes 
bright with glory, the little child comes from 
heaven, and the old man, honoured, respected, with 
all the experience gathered in this school of life 
on earth, goes to immortality. It has been said, 


The Pain of the World 

" God can hold the infant like a mother, can build 
a wall round the strong man as he fights the noon- 
day battle of life, and lay the bridge of sunset over 
which the old man's feet shall walk serenely into 
eternal life." And therefore we who have had to 
bury our fathers with lamentation, who know 
what it is to part with them, and what a terrible 
blank is left in life — a blank never filled up — 
still know that God's arrangement is for the best ; 
that as the outward man decays, so the inward 
man is being renewed day by day, and that the 
happiest moment of the soul shall be when the 
new man receives the crown of perfection after 
the training of the rest of Paradise, 

2. And, if that is our answer to the theory that 
decay and death are an argument against the good- 
ness of God, what shall we say to pain ? Here 
also the answer is near at hand. How were you 
warned and directed throughout that last illness ? 
What was it that first made you send for the 
physician who healed you ? What was it that at 
every moment of your illness guided him in his 
treatment of you ? What was the best nurse you 
had all through that time ? It was Pain. But for 
the pain you never would have known you were 
ill at all ; but for the pain and the position of it, 


The Pain of the World 

your physician would never have known where the 
ailment was ; but for the pain which was present 
all the time, guiding and helping those who were 
nursing you, you might not have been alive now. 
Just as on a railway, the danger signal flashes out, 
first on the distance signals, then upon the home 
signals, and so, if attended to, saves that great 
freight of living souls from death, even thus 
pain is the great danger signal for the preserva- 
tion of life. And who gave it you ? God gave it 
you. Pain was one of the guardian angels for 
your physical life, as we believe you have other 
guardian angels for your soul. Pain brought you 
through that illness as a child, pain saved you 
in that accident, as a boy or a girl, pain sat by 
you hour after hour in the long sickness ; and, 
unthanked and unacknowledged, as you left your 
room amid the congratulations of your friends, 
pain stood behind the door. 

And, therefore, those who at this moment are 
imagining in their mind that the presence of pain 
in the world must make them give up their belief 
in the love of God have not gone deep in their 
study of the problem. God gave us pain, and let 
us thank God for it. 

3. And if that is the true work of pain for the 


T'he Pain of the World 

physical life, look thirdly to see what a marvellous 
effect pain has upon the moral being. Not always, 
— let us be honest. Pain sometimes makes men 
curse and writhe ; it turns them to blasphemy, 
drives them to drink ; it demoralises them. But 
if you wish to have an illustration of what pain 
can do for one who at this moment is slowly 
dying of the pain of cancer, listen to this poem of 
a Christian priest, who wrote it in the middle of 
a night of pain ; it is called " Meditations in a 
Night of Pain": 

" 'Tis peace in pain to know that pain 

Secured us pain's eternal end. 
And that the more exceeding gain 

To which by grace our souls ascend 
My great Redeemer won for me 

By more exceeding agony. 

" 'Tis true my pain is still my pain, 

Heavy its hand on thought and prayer, 

But while that love to me is plain, 
It lays its hand upon despair ; 

And now I know this faint ' How long 7 
For me may quicken into song. 

" Beholding Thee, in what repose. 
In what still streams of Paradise, 
Beholding memory of Thy woes 

Still in those deep pathetic eyes. 
Ah me I \yhat bless' d exchange for pain, 
If I attain — if I attain. 


The Pain of the World 

" Am I too soon in love with death ? 

I know not if 'tis ill or well ; 
If ill, then, Master, stay this breath, 

Deny mine ear the passing bell. 
One thing I ask, since T am Thine, 

Thy will be done — Thy will be mine."* 

If we do not see that pain has given the writer 
of that a moral victory, and that he has been 
drawn nearer and nearer to his Master by pain, 
then I say there must be something wrong in our 
moral instincts. 

But now let us consider what our religion can 
give us, not only in our own hours of pain, but 
in the hour of watching the pain of those whom 
we love ? 

First, it reveals to us the object which pain 
serves. Nothing in the world is so terrible as the 
apparent uselessness of a thing. We can bear 
almost anything if it is for an object, and the great 
object which the writer of that poem has grasped, 
and which sufferer after sufferer understands, is 
that when pain comes to a Christian, it is in- 
tended to make him more and more like his 
Master, Jesus Christ. When pain comes, we 
ought to say : " This is Jesus Christ saying, * Are 

* Written by the Rev. W. H. Stone, author of "The 
Church's one Foundation," a few weeks before he died. 


The Pain of the World 

ye able to drink of the cup that I drink, and to 
be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized 
with ?' " If we answer humbly : " Yes, I will try 
to believe that every hour of pain makes me more 
like my Master," then we find an object in pain 
which takes away its worst sting. I remember 
watching, week after week, by a poor girl, who 
had seventeen years of pain ; and the reading 
which most delighted her, of which she was 
never tired, was one about the stonemason's work- 
shop* — how the mason takes his tools and shapes 
the stone here, and works away there, with little 
apparent change from day to day, but the result of 
it all is that the fretted and worked and beautiful 
stone is at last in the place meant for it in the 
temple. It revealed to her an object for all her 
pain. If you can give to a sufferer the thought 
that there is Someone busy with her, moulding 
and shaping, you have given a helpful thought. 
Even so our Christian revelation gives an end to 
pain. In the lesson for St. John the Baptist's 
Day, we have this beautiful verse : " He sits as 
a refiner and purifier of silver." To believe 
that there is someone who is tempering the flame, 

* In Bishop Walsham How's " Pastor in Parochia " (Wells 
Gardner, Darton and Co.). 


The Pain of the World 

who is not letting one single throb of agony 
be too much or too great, that this is not a 
matter left to mad chance or to the spite of some 
devil — it is this which takes away the bitterness 
from pain. Lie still in the furnace, if the kind 
face of God is looking down on you ; lie still 
in the furnace, because the moment that the silver 
is so bright as to perfectly reflect the face bent 
over it, that moment it will be taken from the 

And there is yet one more thought which 
Christianity gives about pain which I have seen 
time after time take the sting away, and that is 
the knowledge of companionship in pain. " Did 
I not cast three men bound into the burning fiery 
furnace, and do I not see four men loose, and the 
fire has not passed upon them, and the form of 
the fourth is as the Son of God ?" Companion- 
ship in suffering. Ah! how the poor so often say, 
" It is nothing to what He suffered for me," and 
mean it when they say it. That shows how com- 
panionship in the furnace, the form of the fourth 
like the Son of God, is truly given in our Christian 
religion, and it is something which comforts the 
soul in pain more than any other thought in the 


The Pain of the World 

But we should indeed misunderstand the 
Christian teaching about pain if we thought that 
because of these uses, because of this work of 
pain, we are to leave it unrelieved. One of the 
most blessed works of Pain is to produce sympathy. 
If we ask how it is that the refreshing breeze is 
produced in the physical world, we know that it 
comes from the rush of cold air to fill up a vacuum. 
Is it not a beautiful thought that the pain of the 
world creates a vacuum which is to be filled by 
the magic power of sympathy. The existence of 
pain in our midst is for the production of love 
and sympathy. What, then, is the response that 
we are going to make to the pain of London? 
You need to go and live for ten or twelve years 
in the middle of the slums of this great city if 
you want really to understand what the hospitals 
mean ; you need to go as some of us have done, 
time after time, to some poor girl dying on a 
heap of rags, to carry her into one of these great 
houses of rest, and then to see her a day or two 
afterwards, lying there at peace and tenderly 
nursed, with a kind doctor and a skilful nurse 
ever at hand. You must see that sight, time after 
time, before you can understand what the hospitals 
are. You must go at any hour of the day or 


The Pain of the World 

night, as we parish priests have to do, to the 
London hospitals, and see the lad being cured who 
would have died if he had been left in the slum 
where he lived. You must picture some little 
garret at the top of an overcrowded tenement 
in Bethnal Green, and think what it is to be sick 
there, with no one to nurse you, no one to 
attend to you, and then think what it is to lie in 
a cool ward of a hospital, with everything that 
science can give you at your disposal, to relieve 
and to heal you. Never believe the libels which 
you sometimes hear about the hospitals with 
regard to the treatment of patients. They are 
most blessed homes of sympathy and love and rest. 

The whole creation, then, groaneth and travaileth 
in pain. We face it for ourselves, and we face it 
for others. It comes to us with its stern, repulsive 
look, but we look at it again, and it has the eyes 
of a friend. It has gifts behind its back, gifts of 
self-restraint, of self-mastery, of a closer nearness 
to Jesus Christ. We wrestle with it as Jacob 
wrestled with the angel, and, though we may have 
to go limping all our days, as he did, we can 
become " Israels " — princes who have power with 
God, and have prevailed. 

And then we face it for others. We face Pain 

The Pain of the World 

as she stands with the authority of Christ in our 

midst this afternoon : " Inasmuch as ye do it to 

them, ye do it to Me." She waves, as it were, 

her magic wand over us, to draw out from us the 

sympathy she has the power to create. 

It is a frosty air which often meets us in the 


" Blow, blow, thou winter wind 1 
Thou art not more unkind 
Than man's ingratitude." 

But, on the other hand. Pain cries aloud: 
*^Come from the four winds, O breath of the 
Spirit, and breathe on these dry bones, that they 
may live!" God grant we may rise as a great 
multitude of living, loving men and women, and 
do our duty ! 




" His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion 
is from generation to generation." — Dan. iv. 3. 

IT would have been scarcely possible for the 
* Bicentenary of the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel to have come round at a more 
appropriate time ; for it finds us for the first time 
in the course of our national history really under- 
standing what an Empire means. Shall we ever 
forget the thrill of Mafeking? Never, I believe, 
while the Empire lasts ; at that moment we 
realised ourselves as one people, and from the 
distant limit of India to Toronto, Sydney, Mel- 
bourne, and the islands of the sea, we discovered 

* Preached on the Bicentenary of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel, before Her Majesty's Judges, the 
Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Councillors of the 
City of London, June, 1900. 


spiritual Expansion 

that one purpose, one ideal, and one flag inspired 
us all. 

But it was not merely in that tingling rush of 
joy in a moment of intense relief that we 
found out what it was to belong to a world 
wide kingdom : we discovered it in the stern joy 
of self-sacrifice. The astounding sight to-day, as 
those human billows which constitute the Imperial 
Army roll slowly across the African veldt, is not 
their number so much as their diversity. Hunters 
from Canada, squatters from Australia, jostle with 
burly Yorkshiremen ; millionaires and railwaymen, 
the duke and his ploughman, fight side by side 
with the same coolness, or watch through the 
night for the morning with the same cheerful 
equanimity. " You seem to have good sea legs," 
said an officer on a transport to a private in the 
Yeomanry who was industriously cleaning the 
decks in a gale of wind. " Yes, sir," explained 
the other, " but I have kept a yacht myself for 
the last eight years." 

Then, again, it is not only that race feeling and 
class prejudice have been swept away by the rising 
tide of patriotism, just as some slender barriers 
which divide a stream are tossed on one side 
contemptuously when the strea-m becomes a flood ; 


spiritual Expansion 

but, to the astonishment of all concerned, each 
has so much to give the other. The Colonies 
will never be the same Colonies as they were 
before the war. They will be Colonies which 
have shared with the old mother one baptism of 
blood ; the hearts of the children will be turned 
to the fathers and of the fathers to the children. 
Australia, Canada, New Zealand — they will never 
be to us only the Australia, Canada, New Zealand 
of a few years ago ; down in the heart of the 
people, where every little slum had its flags up for 
Ladysmith and Mafeking, there is enshrined the 
image of those very Canadians who fought so 
gallantly with a brother at Paardeberg, of those 
Australians who were the good comrades of a 
husband in some night attack, and of that New 
Zealander who looked after a well-loved boy when 
he was wounded. The object of this long Empire- 
building throughout the world has been revealed 
at last ; the policy of allowing free communities 
to work out their own salvation within the Empire 
has been more than justified; unity of purpose has 
been shown to be consistent with diversity of 
method, and the whole confederate body has 
given the promise of a lasting strength. Surely a 
kingdom which is built upon the principles of 


spiritual Expansion 

justice, freedom, and security of rights, and which 
after so long a trial can create so passionate a 
loyalty in the sons she has brought forth, has 
the promise, so far as human empires can have 
such a promise, of being an everlasting kingdom, 
and its dominion enduring from generation to 

But a moment's reflection will show that this 
promise of continuing strength can only be ful- 
filled on one condition, namely, that, as the 
Empire expands, some security shall be taken 
that these principles of justice, truth, honour, 
respect for the rights of man, regard for the 
honour of women, reverence for little children, 
shall be the only sap which gives it life. With- 
out such security the British Empire may become 
the greatest curse which has ever disgraced an un- 
happy world. 

Most of us, after a time, have arrived at the 
conviction that, so far as our individual lives are 
concerned, God is no respecter of persons ; but 
it is far harder to convince us that God is no 
respecter of nations. The Jew to this moment 
believes, as he always has believed, that his race 
is a chosen race, in the sense of being a race 
favoured for itself, whereas, like all other chosen 

spiritual Expansion 

races, it was chosen for a purpose, and that purpose 
a purpose for the world at large. The English- 
man, while he smiles at the Jew, is often not far 
behind him in his complacent certainty that there 
is some special virtue in the British Empire, as 
such, which ensures the favour of High Heaven, 
and makes it infallibly a blessing to the world. 

But it would be impossible to make a wilder or 
more miserable mistake ; we are chosen, but we 
are chosen for a purpose, and if we fail in it, there 
will be no need for casting us aside, for we shall 
fall by the inherent weakness of the building we 
have raised. 

Lest this seem to be an empty fear, look at 
what has happened in India. Has our rule been an 
unmixed blessing ? Has our system of education 
been so wonderfully successful in its effect upon 
the morals of the people? If we consider it a 
triumph to have destroyed, by the education which 
we have brought, every fragment of belief which 
the student once possessed, and with it all those 
moral restraints which that belief, erroneous as it 
might be, carried with it, then we have succeeded ; 
but all impartial observers tell us that, if we do not 
intend to put a nobler faith in the place of the one 
we have destroyed, then we have most miserably 


spiritual Expansion 

failed. Again, look at what has happened to 
other great empires. I was speaking a few days 
ago to a famous lady traveller who has lived 
among the peoples of many of the other great 
empires of the earth. I asked what it was, if 
anything, she noticed as resulting from the absence 
of a noble religion? and she replied, "The absence 
of any sense of responsibility ; not merely the 
lack of truth, but the lack of any feeling that 
untruth is wrong, the total deficiency of all 
ennobling ideals. That it is," she said, "which 
has converted me from previous apathy to a 
strong belief in missions." 

How, then, are we to guarantee that sound 
principles, saving truths ennobling ideals shall be 
soldered into the stones, and mortared round the 
bricks, and stamped upon the arches of the British 
Empire, as it rises throughout the world? And 
we Christians, gathered in this great Christian 
church, answer, with a profound conviction, that it 
is only if a belief in historic Christianity is en- 
graved upon every living stone as it is built in, 
and stamped as the hall-mark on every tool that is 
used, and mixed into the mortar on which every 
brick is laid, that any sure guarantee can be 
given that when the floods come and the winds 

147 L 2 

spiritual Expansion 

blow and beat upon that house, it will not fall, 
for it is founded on a rock. 

And this is where the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel has played so noble a part 
during the last 200 years ; it has come in to be 
the conscience of the Empire ; it has come in to 
quicken the conscience of * the Church of the 
Empire ; it has come in to make the British 
Empire a blessing and not a curse to the nations. 
A child can see that to govern India the Govern- 
ment itself must be impartial to all creeds alike ; 
it cannot itself as a Government propagate Chris- 
tianity. But a spiritual kingdom can advance round 
the world side by side with the Empire ; inside 
it and yet independent of it, planting itself here, 
getting its footing there, not making the fatal 
mistake of so hurrying as to have unconverted 
enemies in the rear, or so evangelizing as to have 
no time to organize a kingdom that will last ; but 
with unresting and yet patient steps following the 
flag of England with the banner of the Cross, 
and tracing out its dioceses of the kingdom of 
Christ as province after province is added to the 
dominions of the Queen. This can be done, and 
this has been done, and no Christian patriot can 
deny that those who have done it have done 


spiritual Expansion 

a noble thing. What they have done may be 
gathered from such facts as these. In 1793 there 
was one clergyman in Australia ; there are now 
fifteen Bishops and 850 clergy : at the time of 
the Mutiny in India it was said that if the hated 
English had been swept into the sea, no proofs 
would have been left behind that a Christian 
people had occupied the country, whereas now, 
of the 521 missionaries, 245 are natives of the 
country, mainly supported by their own people : 
and when we turn from the Empire itself to the 
great child of the Empire, no testimonial can be 
more touching than that given by the daughter 
Church of America, which has sent two of her 
Bishops to preach to us at this Festival. "At 
the close of the first century of our existence 
as a National Church, we acknowledge with 
deep and unfeigned gratitude that whatever this 
Church has been in the past, is now, and will 
be in the future, is largely due, under God, to the 
long-continued nursing care and protection of this 
venerable society. . . . That it may continue to 
receive the abundant blessing of our Heavenly 
Father • • • is the sincere and earnest prayer of 
every Churchman in the United States." 

This from a Church which now numbers eighty- 

spiritual Expansion 

four Bishops and 4,692 priests and deacons is a 
tribute of which any mother society may be grate- 
fully proud. 

It is nothing less than a test of whether or not 
we believe in Christianity, to examine how keen we 
are that the " Spiritual Expansion of the Empire '* 
(to use the happy title of a shilling book that 
all should read who may be doubtful about the 
usefulness of missions) shall go side by side with 
its material expansion. If we care nothing, then 
we practically deny that Christ is the Light of the 
world, that Christians are meant to be the salt of 
the earth, and that the Christian religion teaches 
for all time the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 
On the other hand, if we do believe this, then our 
sons and brothers will be at home in every quarter 
of the globe ; the parent will no more grudge the 
son to work for the Church for five years in 
Australia than to take up a five years* appoint- 
ment as an engineer ; volunteers will be as freely 
coming forward to convert Africa to Christ as they 
have poured forward to preserve Africa to the 
Queen ; there will be as great rejoicing when 
some lonely missionary at last succeeds as when 
Mafeking was relieved ; there will be a constant 
give and take throughout the Empire ; inde- 


spiritual Expansion 

pendent daughter Churches, untrammelled by our 
difficulties, and elastic enough to face their own 
problems, will pour new light upon our difficulties 
and problems at home ; the Church in England, 
roused from its slumber, will bring out of its 
treasures things new and old, and the boys and 
young men, whom we have sent out ourselves, 
and whom, to our disgrace, we are allowing in 
Australia, and other parts, to be for five, ten, and 
even twenty years without a clergyman, will be 
brought again under the religion of their child-- 
hood, and made themselves workers for God. 

We received a telegram from Australia yester- 
day : ** Nunn gone, Collett gone. Send two 
more at once. Cable reply immediately." If that 
had come from Lord Roberts, the Lord Mayor 
would have sent out this week another corps of 
Imperial Volunteers. What will be the answer to 
the urgent appeal of a spiritual captain ? 

Now, it is surely inconceivable that any 
Christian Englishman should not, at any rate in 
theory, agree with what has been so far said. To 
be a lasting power for good the Empire must be 
a Christian Empire, and if it is a Christian Empire 
the Church must accompany the Flag. 

But, of course, it is well known that as a Church 

spiritual Expansion 

we aim at far more than this ; everyone knows that 
our object Is nothing less than the conversion of 
the whole world, that the British Empire is a merely 
feeble type of the kingdom which is in our minds, 
which is to consist of all nations and comprise all 
tongues, which is to be completely organized at 
last from sea to sea, and to yield an unquestioned 
allegiance to Jesus Christ Himself. That is the 
everlasting kingdom for which we pray ; that, in 
spite of all the divisions of Christendom, is^the 
Empire which we believe the world shall one day 
see ; and then, and not till then, will this ancient 
prophecy in Daniel be fulfilled — " His kingdom is 
an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from 
generation to generation.'* 

And it is here, only too often, that the ordinary 
Englishman joins issue with the missionary cause. 
"Quite apart from the question as to whether 
missions do any good," he says, "look at the 
trouble they get us into in every quarter of the 
globe. What is all this trouble in China about ? 
Simply in consequence of the missionaries. Of 
course, we cannot leave them to be massacred when 
they are there, but they ought not to be there 
at all ; these missions to foreign lands are all a 
vast mistake ; spend your money at home, and 


spiritual Expansion 

when you have made all in Whitechapel and 
Bethnal Green good Christians, then, and not till 
then, there will be something to be said for going 

I. The question is well worth raising, for it 
brings us face to face with the further question. 
What was Christ's idea? and we find that the 
idea of our Lord is contained in the famous saying, 
" Go into all the world and make disciples of all 
nations, baptizing them into the Name of the 
Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost, teaching them 
to observe all things whatsoever I have com- 
manded you ; and lo ! I am with you all the days 
even to the end of the world." 

I ask anyone who up to this time has not 
believed in foreign missions to weigh these words, 
and candidly say whether the idea of this society 
or his own is more in accordance with Christ's 
idea, and he must admit that the idea in Christ's 
mind was the thought of One Holy Catholic 
Church, to be spread throughout the whole world 
— nay, further, that Christ only promises His 
presence to a Missionary Church — "Go into all 
the world," He bids us, "and then I am with you ;" 
but there is no promise of His Presence if we 
cease to go into all the world. What a lurid light 


spiritual Expansion 

this throws upon the deadness of the Church at 
home at certain stages of its history, the dead- 
ness of many parishes now in the home Church, 
and also, alas ! the deadness of many souls ! 

Are you feeling at this moment a great absence 
of interest in religion ? Do you find Christ far 
away from you, and no sense of His presence, and 
no power of His Spirit? It is because you have 
ceased to be .a missionary soul, or have not yet 
become one ; you are not going into all the world 
with your prayers, and alms, and sympathy, any 
more than by your personal .efforts, and therefore 
He is not in full measure with you all the days, 
even to the end of the world. 

2. Look at the totally different view the first 
Christians took. They understood perfectly their 
commission ; all the disciples were lost sight of, 
went preaching into the distance so far that their 
last journeys are lost to sight ; they respected home 
calls, but home calls never interfered with foreign 
missions ; there were only two Apostles in Antioch, 
the second city of the Roman world, but there was 
no moment of hesitation when the order came 
" Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to 
which I have called them "; they quite understood 
the object for which they existed, that to spread 


spiritual Expansion 

and expand Is not only a sign of life, but the 
condition of life itself, and that only so was it 
possible to found a kingdom that should be an 
everlasting kingdom, and a dominion from genera- 
tion to generation. 

3. Look, again, with what singularly bad grace 
such a theory comes from the lips of one who 
lives in this part of a land which was once bar- 
barous Britain, and who owes his Christianity 
largely to a party of monks, who, at the peril of 
their lives, and paid for by the country of Italy, 
faced the dangers of foreign missionary work, to 
reinforce the hard-beset Church existing already in 
these islands, and bring us from the kingdom of 
darkness into the kingdom of light. 

4. See that you get your evidence about mis- 
sionary work from those who know, and not 
from those who never see because they have not 
looked to see. 

How much would a visitor at the Hotel 
Metropole, who spent his day in the Park, or in 
the club, and his evening at the theatre, know 
about the mission work in East London ? And 
yet there are hundreds who pay hurried visits to 
the Metropoles of Calcutta, Sydney, and New 
York, and then come back and have the effrontery 


spiritual Expansion 

to give us their crude opinions about foreign 
missions and native Christians. Why, probably 
the only native Christian they ever met was a 
native Christian who, having been turned out of 
the long-suffering mission-station for misconduct^ 
has drifted into the town, to be a standing source 
of scandal to Christianity among the light-hearted 
travellers who never take the trouble to look 
below the surface. 

But go to the real places where the mission 
work is going on, and what do we find ? You 
find twenty years ago not a native Christian at 
Rorke's Drift, to-day 5,000 ministered to by 
native catechists at more than ninety stations 
under the direction of one missionary of this 
society. At the beginning of the Queen*s reign 
you find Samoa entirely heathen, and now in it 
25,000 Christians; you hear Mr. Charles Darwin, 
whose testimony is above suspicion, saying of Tahiti, 
" The morality and religion of the inhabitants are 
highly creditable ; dishonesty, intemperance, and 
licentiousness have been gready reduced by the 
introduction of Christianity"; and, again, "The 
lesson of the missionary is the enchanter's wand 
— the march of improvement consequent on the 
introduction of Christianity throughout the South 


spiritual Expansion 

Sea probably stands by itself in the records of 

In this question, then, as in so many, we must 
take our stand either by Christ or by the world ; 
it is clear what Christ commands ; it is proved 
that if those commands are obeyed all power is at 
last given over language, over climate, over pre- 
judice abroad and apathy at home ; at any given 
moment the wave may seem to fall back, but it is 
only the momentary check of a wave which is 
slowly sweeping round the world. The Church 
has its martyrs to-day in the martyrs who have 
fallen in China as it had its martyrs in the days of 
Stephen, Polycarp, and Blandina ; but the blood oj 
the martyrs is the seed of the Church, and if 
without fear or failing we fill up the ranks and 
carry out our marching orders with that alacrity 
which is our chief characteristic when our Empire 
is concerned, we shall see advancing with giant 
strides upon the earth that kingdom which shall 
be an everlasting kingdom, and that dominion 
which shall endure from generation to generation.* 

• Readers of the T^mes will have since read the unstinting 
praise which Dr. Morrison, its correspondent, gives to the 
conduct, fidelity and courage of the large number of native 
Christians besieged in the Foreign Legation in Pekin. 



"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone." — St. John xi. 39, 

I AZARUS was dead. Wrapped hands and 
*^ feet in grave-clothes, and with a napkin 
about his head, he lay cold and lifeless in the 
tomb that was his grave. Opposite him, con- 
fronting him, was the Lord of Life, qualified with 
flxll powers to raise him from the dead, come from 
heaven with all the authority and all the power of 
the Holy Trinity for that purpose. Very soon 
the voice was to sound which alone on earth had 
power to call back the vanished spirit from " that 
bourne from which no traveller returns." And 
yet before the Lord of Life could speak, or would 
speak, the word of power to the dead, there was 
something to be done, and that by the loving hands 
of men and women. " Take ye away the stone." 
It was the preliminary condition of the miracle. 

♦ Preached during the meeting in London of the World's 
Temperance Congress. 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

We have no time in this address to dwell upon 
the miracle itself, in many ways infinitely the 
most touching miracle that Jesus Christ worked 
at all — with the wonderful comfort which it brings 
to those who have lost their dear ones, and the 
splendid hope which it has brought into the world 
— or to emphasise the startling climax, " Lazarus, 
come forth ; loose him and let him go." 

We have only time to centre our thoughts on 
the preliminary condition before the miracle could 
happen, the taking away of the stone. 

We are divided in all questions of social reform 
into two parties. There are those, first of all, 
who, with pathetic hopefulness, are quite certain 
that to change circumstances is to change character. 
Only give Lazarus a chance, and he is sure to 
rise ; only change the circumstances and the 
conditions of his life, and he will come out from 
his grave. On the other hand, there are others 
who lay all their stress upon individual character. 
Nothing, they say, is more weakening to the 
moral fibre than grandmotherly legislation. DiflS- 
culties and the surmounting of diflficulties only 
strengthen character. If Lazarus wants to rise, let 
him rise, in spite of the grave clothes, in spite of 
the napkin about his head, in spite of the stone ; 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

let him raise himself. And, as always happens 
when two different points of view are held by 
bodies of earnest men, both sides have a great 
deal to say for themselves. Come down into a 
slum in East London, and then see if you will 
not find an argument for the first side. Picture 
the life of those who live, seven or eight in one 
room — the only room to eat and sleep in — and 
then say if it is not harder to live a decent 
Christian life under those conditions than under 
your own. While, on the other hand, the fact 
that working men who have excellent wages, who 
live in decent houses, and rich men who find 
nothing in the world to desire which they cannot 
obtain, often are as selfish, hard, and cruel as it is 
possible to be, is an argument that circumstances 
do not necessarily change character. But if we 
want to find a picture which reconciles the two 
views and gives us the truth which lies between 
them, I ask you to call up before your minds 
the scene of this miracle — Lazarus in the grave, 
capable of being raised from the dead, Jesus alone 
capable of raising him by His power from the 
dead, and yet the stone pressing down Lazarus 
which someone must take away. 

Now, it so happens that this question has some- 

The Dead Lazarus in England 

thing far more than an academic interest to-day. 
This week there is being held in London the 
World's Temperance Congress, and the question 
which fronts us is the question of what we are to 
do with the Lazarus who is facing us at every 
corner in the person of the modern drunkard. 
He has a sort of life in our midst : he faces us in 
the country, in the town, among the poor, among 
the rich, among the educated and the uneducated : 
he is that figure with which you who live in the 
country are familiar, loitering round the village 
public-house on a Sunday : and yet he is dead, 
quite dead, to all heavenly things — dead to all 
higher life, and a centre of corruption to the boys 
and young men of his village. You have only 
to visit our great working-class quarters on a wet 
Bank Holiday if you wish to see how little 
progress civilisation and Christianity have yet 
made upon the animalism of human nature. 
Follow that drunkard going home from the 
public-house if you want to see the full misery 
of this living death : go and see his little children 
in rags, his poor tired wife almost crushed to 
death, and then say, if you can, that the problem 
of the dead Lazarus is a small problem to-day. 
It is quite true that among the richer classes open 

i6i If 

The Dead Lazarus in England 

drunkenness at dinner parties has largely decreased 
during this century, but some of the worst secret 
drunkards of whom I know are among the rich ; 
while as for those who think that education will 
necessarily save a man from giving way to drink, 
I can only say that among the most difficult cases 
in my own experience I remember the names of a 
highly-educated clergyman and of a layman who 
has taken high honours at the University. 

Lazarus, then, faces us at every quarter. What 
are we to do with him ? And let us be perfectly 
fair to those who say that they would rather see 
England free than England sober. This epigram- 
matic saying is supposed by some temperance re- 
formers to be a mocking gibe : it contains a great 
truth. It is perfectly true that no one can be 
made sober by Act of Parliament. Let us be 
perfectly frank and open in answer to those who 
say so. We believe most firmly that it is only 
the power of that living Saviour who stands above 
the grave of Lazarus which can eventually so 
change a man*s character as to raise him from the 
dead. But the question is whether there is not 
pressing upon the modern Lazarus something so 
heavy, something which so cripples him, that, 
if it were removed, his chance of being raised 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

from the dead would be increased tenfold. Listen, 
then, to these facts which I have collected about 
the drink traffic of England, in order to convince 
some of you, who may not have thought out the 
problem, that there is a stone which we Christian 
people are bound to take away. 

In the first place, the amount spent on drink in 
England is ^154,000,000 a year. Of this sum 
it is calculated that ^100,000,000 are spent by the 
working classes of this country. Without deduct- 
ing the 3,000,000 teetotalers and the 14,000,000 
children, that gives the average spent by every 
working-class family in England as 6s. 5d. every 
week. A committee of the British Association — 
an association which is above any taint of partiality 
on such a question as this — placed the average 
between 6s. 2d. and 6s. fd. 

Secondly, in London alone, there is a licensed 
house for every 446 inhabitants, and in many 
parts for every 193. Look at any map such as 
those which appear in an excellent book on the 
temperance problem by Mr. Rowntree and Mr. 
Sherwell ; and you will find some of the working- 
class quarters of London black with dots, which 
represent the public-houses in the district 

Thirdly, the rateable value of the public-house 
163 M 2 

The Dead Lazarus in England 

trade of London is six times the rateable value of 
all the Board schools and the Church schools put 
together, and is one-twentieth of the rateable value 
of the whole of London. 

Fourthly, this particular trade has an over- 
whelming power in the community in the midst of 
which we live. This power is often individually 
exercised with the greatest generosity. There is no 
body of people so generous to the Church work of 
East London as the great brewers of East London, 
and no individuals who give more personal 
service in the cause of philanthropy. But that 
does not alter the fact that, as an organised trade, 
it has an overwhelming power in England. L 
should not like to see the Bench of Bishops 
holding anything like the power which that trade 
possesses to-day. And one of the greatest and 
most far-seeing statesmen of our day has said, 
that if the State does not soon control the liquor 
traffic, the liquor traffic will soon control the 
State. And I believe that if this trade put forth 
at any election, political or municipal, all the 
power which it possesses, it could control all the 

Fifthly, 38 per cent, of the drunkards of 
England are women. You who know what a 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

pure woman's life is, or ought to be, you who 
have ever seen the most saddening spectacle which 
there is beneath the sun except one, a drunken 
woman — the saddest is a drunken child — picture 
what this great fact means, that 38 per cent, of the 
drunkards of England are women. 

Sixthly, we have from Sir Andrew Clark, 
whose knowledge of both classes of society was 
probably unrivalled, this statement, that out of 
the cases which he visited in the great hospitals, 
seven out of every ten who were there owed their 
ailment or their accident directly or indirectly to 
the abuse of alcohoL And he also is reported to 
have said that, in what is called " fashionable 
society," three out of every four persons who 
consulted him were suffering from the same cause. 

I hold, then, that these six facts — and I 
restrict myself to the mere statement of them — 
prove that there Is a stone allowed by this country 
to be pressing down Lazarus into his grave which, 
if our country were thoroughly Christian, we 
should remove. 

I pass, then, to the next point. Have we any 
reason to suppose that temperance work, com- 
bined with temperance legislation, works any good 
at all upon this difficult problem ? And we can 


Tlie Dead Lazarus in England 

only see whether this is so by watching what 
happens in some other country which has adopted 
some such measures. And I take, therefore, as 
an example of what can be done by temperance 
legislation the country of Norway. At the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century Norway was the 
most drunken country in Europe ; it is by fer the 
most sober country at the end. How was that 
marvellous change worked? The century opened 
with an indiscriminate allowance of distillation, and 
such a fearful effect was worked upon Norway 
and Sweden by this absence of all restraint, that 
in the middle of the century 36 per cent, of all 
the conscripts were pronounced unfit for military 
service. In the year 1855 the Dean of Gothen- 
burg began his reforms. He, and those who were 
associated with him, worked upon these principles: 
elimination of private profit ; the forbidding of the 
sale of drink to children ; reduction in the number 
of licenses ; Sunday closing ; shortening of the 
hours of sale ; the establishment of reading-rooms ; 
and by the end of the century the result of their 
efforts is that, last year, the total amount drunk in 
Norway was one-third of what was drunk in 1876, 
and one-seventh of what was drunk in 1833. It 
is quite true that a comparatively small country 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

like Norway can try experiments which are im- 
possible for a great country like our own, but it 
does make our hearts yearn with hope to think 
that we ourselves, if we stood together and were in 
earnest in this great cause, might make England 
the soberest country in the world. Why is it that 
at this moment there seems a special opportunity 
for a great effort ? In the first place, for the first 
time in the history of the temperance movement, 
all temperance reformers are united upon one 
programme. On what is called the " Minority 
Report," drawn up by a man well known through- 
out the whole of the world for impartiality and 
soundness of judgment, a man who entered upon 
his office as chairman of the Royal Commission 
with no bias at all one way or the other — on that 
" Minority Report " all the temperance organisa- 
tions of the country have at last united. Secondly, 
the majority of the Royal Commission and the 
minority agree upon some very important changes 
in the law which might at once be carried out. 
When you think that the majority of the Royal 
Commission included some of the leading repre- 
sentatives of the liquor traffic in England, it does 
great credit to their impartiality, and gives great 
weight to the overwhelming evidence which must 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

have been brought before them, to find that 
both the majority and the minority unite on the 
following recommendations — that the number of 
licensed houses should be largely reduced ; that the 
compensation to be paid should be provided by 
the trade Itself; that no drink should be sold to 
children under the age of sixteen ; that the hours 
of trade should be limited further in England, 
and restrictions should be placed on the transfer 
of licenses. When you find a body of men so 
divided In sentiment and training, united upon 
such important recommendations as these, I say 
that a Christian community ought to rise as one 
man and take the Initial step towards the rolling 
away of the stone which presses Lazarus down.* 

Why, then, my friends, do I bring this before 
you this afternoon? The reason is that It Is just 
such a representative body as gathers In this 
Cathedral on Sunday afternoons which holds the 
whole question in its hands. How can any Govern- 
ment bring forward measures unless it is backed 
up by the sense of the whole of the community? 
It is the apathy, not of the working classes — ^you 

• The Children's Bill of 1901, and the Bill introduced 
this year, dealing with habitual drunkards, clubs, etc., are a 
step in the right direction. 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

should have seen our East End temperance meet- 
ing the other day, with 2,500 people filling the 
Queen's Hall in the Mile End Road, all united 
in a passionate desire for some of these reforms 
— it is not the apathy of the working classes, 
but of the educated classes, which is the hindrance 
to temperance reform. I ask you, first of all, 
to study the subject yourselves, to buy that 
book to which I have already referred, where 
all these facts are drawn out in a most in- 
teresting and lucid manner. Secondly, let every 
man face this question : " What am I doing ? I 
shall have to answer in the presence of the Holy 
Trinity some day for what I have done while on 
earth ; what have I done to roll away the stone 
which lies over Lazarus ?" You can do much by 
seeing that in the place where you live there is 
some other place for the working lad and the 
working girl and the working man and woman 
to go to besides the public-house. I have seen 
during these past twelve years bright, attractive 
houses set down in our great working-class 
quarters, and I have seen the men and the lads 
rise and respond to the offer ; in one place alone 
you may see 200 self-respecting young working 
men of twenty-five or twenty-six years old, some 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

of whom I have known from the age of fourteen, 
living sober, self-respecting lives through the in- 
fluence of a single boys' club. Go and work in 
your own district ; see that no lad, no girl, no man 
or woman, shall ever say they have nowhere to go 
except to the public-house, and you will do some- 
thing towards rolling away the stone. Thirdly, 
let those of you who control the City and have to 
do with business see that not one of your young 
clerks, or those connected with your business, shall 
have the temptation of having to drink over every 
bargain that is made. If once men of stand- 
ing would set their faces against that perpetual 
treating over bargains, a great stone might be 
rolled away from many whom it has pressed down 
into drinking ways. Fourthly, see whether there 
is not an individual Lazarus whom you yourself 
might help to rise. They want, not our contempt, 
but our sympathy and help. What happiness to 
be the means of leading back some poor miser- 
able Lazarus, dead to heavenly things, until you 
can see him standing, a breathing and living man 
before you, able to praise God and take his part 
in the worship of the Holy Trinity ! Fifthly, and 
lastly, exercise the power of prayer. When Peter 
was in prison prayer was made for him by name, 


The Dead Lazarus in England 

and Peter was set free. To work for one single 
Lazarus, to pray for him, to give him a chance 
of a new life, to let him feel that there is someone 
who cares about him, is the very best way of 
raising him from the dead. 

This, then, my brothers and sisters, is the 
picture with which I would send you back this 
afternoon. Jesus Christ came from heaven " that 
they might have life, and that they might have it 
more abundantly," but He is unable to do much 
of the great work which He came to do because 
of our unbelief. Away with unbelief! Let it 
never be said that He came to the English nation 
and could not raise our dead because of our un- 
belief. And this is His first command, "Take 
ye away the stone." 


•« The Comforter." — St. John xv. 26. 

THERE is no day which is more paralysing to 
the preacher than Whit Sunday. To try 
and comprehend all the truth of Whitsuntide is to 
try and compass the ocean, to analyse the atmo- 
sphere, or tame the light. The truth of Whitsun- 
tide touches us at every single point. In the first 
place, it reveals to us the secret of Nature. What 
was it, we ask, which turned that formless chaos 
into the beautiful order which we see to-day.? 
The Spirit, we are told, brooded over the face 
of the waters. Again, He gave man his natural 
strength. Samson received his strength, and the 
architect Bezaleel his skill, by the gift of the 
Spirit. And if it reveals the secret of Nature, 
it also unfolds the secret of a nation's life. The 


The Comforter 

picture rises before us continually at this time of 
brave, strong men, perfectly fearless, fighting for 
their country. Who gave to them that courage, 
that fearless bravery, that calmness in the hour of 
danger? The Spirit. They go forward into the 
battle as much gifted by the Spirit as any clergy- 
man at his work. What has inspired in the nation 
self-sacrifice, calmness in danger, unity? The 
Spirit. We turn to the Church ; we watch what 
goes on in a great church like this. A congrega- 
tion gathers by the great font; a little child lies 
in the arms of the minister. What are we waiting 
for before anything can take place ? The Spirit. 
It is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies that water, 
so that the font becomes a laver of regeneration. 
Without Him we can do nothing. Or, we meet 
in the chancel some quiet morning in the week, 
and a hundred kneeling figures, half of them 
in white, are with us. Whom are we waiting 
for? Without whom is the whole service abso- 
lutely meaningless ? We are waiting for "the Spirit, 
for the "falling of the Holy Ghost" in the laying 
on of hands. "As yet," we are told, in the record 
which gives us our authority and our encourage- 
ment, " He had fallen upon none of them, only 
they were baptized in the name of the Lord 


The Comforter 

Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and 
they received the Holy Ghost." Or, in the north- 
west chapel, a little band in the early morning 
are assembled to meet their Ascended Lord. 
But in whose company do we gather there ? No 
one on earth can accomplish the great Act which 
is consummated there. We believe that the Holy 
Spirit is present in these mysteries, so that the 
bread and wine may become, for us, what Jesus 
Christ declared they should become, the Body and 
Blood of our Lord. And when we come to the 
individual character, the individual life, the hymn 
which we so often sing tells us what we owe to 
the Holy Spirit, when we confess that 

" Every virtue we possess, 
And every conquest won, 
And every thought of holiness. 
Are His alone." 

Lest we, then, lose ourselves in the greatness of 
our theme, let us select out of the titles of the 
Holy Spirit the simplest, and yet the most win- 
ning, to meditate upon. And there is no title 
which is more often given to Him and no title 
which comes more easily home to a sorrow-stricken 
world than the title of the " Comforter." 

It will not take long nor need many words tp 

The Comforter 

prove the world's need of comfort. My memory 
goes back to a time, now many years ago, when, 
as a newly-ordained deacon, I was called upon to 
watch through the night by the side of a little 
dying child. The doctor had done what he could, 
and had left the child for me to tend. Hour 
after hour of the night passed, and at last she 
could only say, "Oh dear!" "Oh dear!" over 
and over again. I spoke to her, held her hand, 
prayed by her ; and at last, in the early morn- 
ing, she passed away. But the worst part had 
not come. The mother came next day. She lived 
in the country, far away from telegrams, and, 
though the telegram had gone as quickly as might 
be, she arrived too late. Never to my dying day 
shall I forget taking that mother into the dead- 
house of the infirmary to see her dead child. As 
she looked at the face of the child, whom she had 
parted with but a few weeks before, a shriek of 
absolute anguish rang from her lips. " My little 
lamb! My little lamb!" I would ask you to 
consider what you would have said to her that 
morning. Or, picture a young wife, such as one 
whom I know, to whom the news has come that 
her husband has died in the war. There will 
be a great home-coming for others, but there will 


The Comforter 

be no home-coming to give her joy. Imagine 
yourself sitting in her room. Where she is left 
alone with the children, her life simply cut in 
half, and years of life apparently to look forward 
to. What can you say to her ? Or it is a man 
this time of whom we will think. He has waited 
year after year, till he has money enough to marry 
the girl he loved. At last he makes a home. 
They have lived one short year together, and 

now Can it be, is it really, her body that 

they are lowering into the grave ? Is it really true 
that never again, not if he lives to be an old man, 
will he ever see that face on earth again? You 
want to comfort him. Yes, sorrows like these 
are happening every day, and they drive home 
for us the conviction, that if there is one thing 
which the world needs, it is a Comforter ; and if 
there is one hymn which expresses more perfectly 
than another the cry of our hearts, it is the one 
which mingles with its praise the prayer : 

** Thou art gone up on high, 
To mansions in the skies ; 
And round Thy throne unceasingly 

The songs of praise arise ; 
But we are lingering here. 

With sin and care oppressed ; 
Lord, send Thy promised Comforter, 
And lead us to Thy rest." 

The Comforter 

And if we turn and look at things from 
another side, we are brought to the same conclu- 
sion. There are three things absolutely essential 
to true comfort : First, the comfort must be very 
tender. We talk of the light hand of a skilful 
surgeon, but it is nothing to the lightness of touch 
with which the Comforter heals our wounds. We 
are not dealing now with cut arteries or veins, or 
twisted ligaments : we have to do with broken 
hearts ; we have to do with something that feels 
the very lightest touch, and therefore the first 
element which we seek in comfort is that it 
should descend as gently as the dew, that its 
touch may be as the touch of the lightest finger- 
tip on the awful wound. Then, secondly, besides 
soothing, comfort must bring with it some power 
to heal. I may be speaking, perhaps, to some who 
have often had to try and comfort. Is it not true 
that, as you come to each new wound, there is not 
one quite like another? You bring, perhaps 
almost with confidence, something which healed 
another wound ; but lo ! this one refuses to accept 
the healing. You feel round the torn part with all 
the tenderness which is in you ; you think of some- 
thing you can drop in to heal that dreadful sorrow, 
and you feel certain of this : that unless, besides 

177 N 

The Comforter 

soothing, you can close the gaping mouth of the 
wound, you have done nothing to comfort. And 
then, thirdly, when you have soothed and healed, 
you have failed unless you have also strengthened 
that soul to go out into the work and duty of life. 
There is a touching picture, which some of you 
may know, drawn by one of our great poets, where 
the shepherd-boy David is trying by his music to 
comfort the afflicted soul of the poor King. Saul 
leans hopelessly against the pole of his tent, with 
a terrible depression upon him, and the shepherd- 
boy brings his music to try and comfort him. He 
tries the song of the reapers ; then he tries the 
song of men standing by men in fellowship ; 
then he pictures — 

" The wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock ! 
The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool 

silver shock 
Of the plunge in a pool's living water." 

And Saul gradually takes one piece of comfort 
after another. But there is one thing more he has 
to do. The shepherd-boy says to himself: 

"He saith, *It is good,* still he drinks not; he lets me 
praise life, 
Gives assent, yet would die for his own part." 

That is the stage you have reached when you have 


The Comforter 

brought the man or woman to be soothed, healed, 
but not yet strengthened. The full meaning of the 
description of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter is 
that He is one who strengthens, who sends back 
the sufferer into the battle of life brave and strong 
to take up his cross, to go to the duty which lies 
next to him, and with firm, determined face to take 
his part in the work of the world. And when we 
have thought out all that comforting means, are we 
not driven to see that we cannot do it ourselves ? 
God bless the friends that come to us in trouble, 
and God reward them for their forgiving faces, 
thinking nothing of our faults, only trying with 
tender hands to comfort us ! But when we try to 
give comfort ourselves, are we not conscious of 
how badly we do it ? We see that the thing which 
the world wants is Someone to give perfectly what 
we give badly — consolation, comfort, strength to 
the souls of men. 

Now, that is exatcly the gift of which Whit 
Sunday assures us, so that we can keep Whitsun- 
tide with this magnificent service of praise and 
thanksgiving. The truth of Whit Sunday is 
this : that on this day was sent from heaven One 
who was "par excellence the Comforter ; that He has 
not gone back, that He is at work on earth now ; 

179 N 2 

The Comforter 

and that, in consequence of His work, no heart 
can be completely broken, no mind on earth 
entirely distraught, and no soul need wander un- 
helped into the darkness of despair. 

Mark, first, the influence of the Comforter on the 
Apostles themselves. They had been anxious, 
troubled, irresolute, feeling as if they had lost 
their hold upon everything which they trusted. 
But, after the first Whitsuntide, we can see that 
a great change has passed over them. They 
have been not only healed and soothed, but 
strengthened. They have been transformed by 
the power of the Comforter into the world's 
Aposdes ; they are preaching the Gospel every- 
where, and they will preach on till they die. 

Notice next, as you look around you on life, 
some woman, perhaps, who seemed years ago to 
have lost everything that made life worth living. 
But now she has learned to believe in the Holy 
Ghost. How do you find her to-day.? Do you 
find her morbid, depressed, inactive, a burden to 
everybody.? I will venture to say, if you have 
eyes to see, you will find her constandy just the 
reverse — calm, quiet, of service to everybody. 
Men, women, litde children rise up and call her 
blessed. She is a power among the people in 

1 80 

The Comforter 

whose neighbourhood she lives, and a blessing 
every day. Who has healed her? By whose 
power does she live her life ? She would tell you 
herself that this is the influence of the Comforter. 
The Comforter came into her soul, and by the 
power of the Spirit, and only by the power of the 
Spirit, she lives her life to-day. Ask that great 
army of triumphant sufferers who have existed 
since the Church began, and they will tell you: 
" We cannot analyse it, we cannot explain it, we 
cannot pretend to say how it was ; but this we 
know, that the scar which you can see is the mark 
of a terrible wound, which is painless now ; there 
did come something like the soft dew down upon 
our hearts. There did come into our souls some 
Divine strength — by what means we hardly know 
— and we stand to-day and do our work, living 
our lives day by day by the power of the Holy 
Ghost the Comforter. 

Well, my friends, if that is true, who is the 
most foolish man or woman in this cathedral this 
afternoon? I say, the man or woman who is 
trying to live in this sorrow-stricken world with- 
out the Comforter. How are we to be in constant 
touch with Him ? First, by remembering that He 
is not someone who comes instead of Jesus Christ. 


The Comforter 

I believe that many fail to grasp the glorious truth 
of Whit Sunday because they imagine that they are 
asked to set someone instead of the Saviour in" 
their hearts. But Jesus said : " I will not leave 
you comfortless ; I will come to you." He said, 
and implied through His teaching, that He was 
to come a second time through the power of the 
Spirit; and that, just as some glorious breeze 
that blows over spice islands comes to us retaining 
all the fragrance of the spices and the flowers 
over which that breeze has blown, so the Holy 
Spirit, coming from Jesus, and being sent by 
Him and by the Father, comes to us to-day for 
our consolation, fragrant with the sympathy, full of 
the life and laden with the comfort of Jesus Christ 
Himself. And, therefore, the first step towards 
a perfect fellowship with Christ and the Father is 
to kneel down to-day, this Whit Sunday, and bow 
ourselves before the power of the Comforter. 

And, secondly, we must remember the frequent 
misunderstanding of that verse : " The wind 
bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the 
sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh 
or whither it goeth." People imagine sometimes 
that this implies that a spiritual religion is a spas- 
modic religion — has no rule, no regular religious 


The Comforter 

life; that the really spiritual man is a man of 
impulse. But does the wind blow after that 
' manner ? There is nothing in the universe which 
moves by such perfect law as the wind. Anyone 
who has the knowledge requisite can tell us why 
every wind blows across the sky. It is all con- 
trolled by perfect law, and therefore, if there is 
one thing more than another in which the Holy 
Spirit is like the wind, it is because He observes a 
law of perfect order. There may be some who 
have given up their regular time for prayer ; there 
may be some who imagine that to come to regular 
worship is unnecessary for a spiritual man, who 
despise Baptism and Confirmation, and never come 
to the Holy Communion. It is not surprising that 
they should find themselves uncomforted, if they 
are not in full touch with the power of the Com- 
forter. For it is His revealed will to use the 
means of grace, and to come through outward 
and visible signs to give His comfort to the souls 
of men. I say, Come back to your prayers ; 
come back to the things you have despised. You 
said, perhaps, "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers 
of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?" 
Yes ; but how much have they healed you? How 
much has your worldly wisdom healed your soul ? 


The Comforter 

Come back, like a litde child, to your daily prayer; 
come back to your Communion ; come back to 
your regular church, and you will find the comfort 
of God the Holy Ghost steal into your soul in a 
way you have not known for years. 

And, lastly, be not content with anything less 
than to be an instrument in the hands of the Holy 
Ghost. It is a glorious prospect — and everyone 
may have it, — the hope of being an instrument in 
the hands of the Comforter! Why was St. Barnabas 
the Son of Consolation ? Because he was full of 
the Holy Ghost. And if there is one more 
glorious life than another, it is to be at the service 
of the Spirit, and to be a comfort to the world 
through the power of the Holy Ghost. The 
world wants comforting. Be not content with 
being comforted yourself, but comfort others with 
the comfort wherewith you yourself have been 
comforted of God. And so we take home the 
same message which the Apostles had of old : 
" Tarry in Jerusalem till ye be clothed with power 
from on high." We wait to-day for the same 
blessing and the same gifts for which they waited 
of old. May He come down upon us with all 
His old power! may He clothe us with all His 
old comfort, and send us out, a band of comforters, 


The Comforter 

to comfort a sorrowing world, until the day shall 
come when the sun will never set except upon a 
world at peace with God, and when every sorrow- 
ful heart shall be daily filled with the balm of the 
Holy Ghost the Comforter ! 




"The things which are seen are temporal^ the things 
which are not seen are eternal." — 2 Cor. iv. 18. 

/^NE of the deepest longings of the human 
^^ heart is for something that will last, and 
the longing is deepened as year by year the 
experience of life reveals how many things are 
transitory which seem lasting. Take, for instance, 
the passing of the glorious summer which has just 
come to an end. Put yourself back in imagina- 
tion into one of those days of early August, when 
even the hardest-worked Londoner got, at any 
rate, a few days' holiday. How regular and 
apparently permanent was the sunshine ! how soft 
and yet steady was the summer breeze! what a 
beautiful pageant the world presented as we looked 
across the sea and saw the ships in the distance, 
with their white sails gleaming in the light, or 


Things Seen and Unseen 

watched the cows grazing in the deep green of 
some shady valley in the country ! But like a 
beautiful scroll it is all rolled up and passed away. 
Shortening evenings and falling leaves, raging 
storms and bitter winds, are reminding us by this 
time that the summer is a thing of the past. 

But, brethren, if Nature teaches us this lesson, 
how much more pathetically is it taught us by the 
passing away of happiness! Take some poor 
widow — left a widow after ten or fifteen years of 
perfect happiness. Her time of joy seemed so 
strong and stable ; it was apparently given by 
God and lived in God ; one by one children were 
added to her store of blessing, deepening the tie 
between her and him whom she loved so well, 
and then suddenly a cloud like a man's hand 
appeared in the horizon ; it came nearer and 
nearer ; some unsuspected ailment was discovered. 
It was thought at first to be nothing, but it showed 
unexpected strength, and then the suspicion grew 
upon her like a horrible nightmare. Can it 
really mean that she is to be alone? Can it 
really mean that she is to be a widow, that she 
is to lose him ? Is she to be left alone with the 
children ? without him, the strong stay and com- 
forter? No one to consult with, no one to talk 


Takings Seen and Unseen 

to about the little ones ! It seems too horrible to 
be true, but the cloud gets bigger, draws nearer, 
and the feir summer of life is broken up ; the 
heavens are filled with winds and rains. Her 
happiness rolls up like a scroll, and when the 
storm has passed she is alone with the children 
in a world of winter ; her happiness was passing 
after all. And so, again, it is with life itself. 
Few of us really believe for a long time that we 
are dying men and women. We know it in a 
way, we believe it as an abstract fact, that one day 
there will be a funeral procession like those we 
have so often seen, but it will differ from all 
other funeral processions in that it will be bearing 
our body to its grave ; that there will be a 
mound in some cemetery one day differing from 
all other mounds in that it will be our grave ; 
and that the world will go on the day after 
we are dead just as it did the day before ; that 
there will be the same cries in the street, and 
the same salutations in the market-place, and that 
after our own generation has gone we shall be 
absolutely forgotten — as absolutely forgotten, so 
far as this world is concerned, as if we had never 
lived at all. All this, though we know it in the 
abstract to be at least as certain as that the sun 


Things Seen and Unseen 

will rise to-morrow, we ignore, we manage to 
forget, until we suddenly wake up to the con- 
sciousness that we cannot do quite as much work 
as once we did, that things tire us which never 
used to tire us, that our sight is failing us, that 
old weaknesses recur more often than they were 
wont, and the abstract proposition that we are all 
mortal becomes translated into the concrete fact, 
" 1 must die, and soon." 

And as these experiences pass over a man's 
soul they deepen his longing for something per- 
manent. Is the conclusion of the whole matter, 
he asks, to be the pessimistic conclusion of 
the wise man of old, "As it happeneth to the 
fool, so it happeneth to me, and why was I 
then more wise?" Is all prayer, effort and 
struggle unavailing.? When scroll after scroll 
is rolled up of natural beauty, of earthly happi- 
ness and life itself, is there anything permanent 
and lasting left at all? It is well, then, to 
study very carefully St. PauFs philosophy of 
life, and we notice that he draws a careftil dis- 
tinction between things that are seen and things 
that are not seen, and makes this striking assertion 
about them : *^ The things that are seen are 
temporal, and the things that are not seen are 


Things Seen and Utiseen 

eternal." What does he mean? And, further, 
what does he not mean ? He does not mean and 
cannot mean any disrespect to the beautiful world 
in which we live. St. Paul was rar too healthy- 
minded a man to rail at a summer day because it 
does not. last, or to depreciate the beautiful home 
in which the great God has placed us here because 
this, some day, has to make way for another ; he 
was far too human to depreciate friendship or 
love because there are partings and families are 
broken up. He was not so much absorbed in 
the thought of death as to forget the warmth, the 
majesty and the mystery of being alive at all, and, 
therefore, those completely travesty St. Paul's 
philosophy of life who fix their eyes so exclusively 
on another world that they take no interest in 
this, or who are so absorbed in thinking of the 
God whom they have not seen that they have no 
eyes to see and care for the brother whom they 
have seen. No, he calls these things, not un- 
important, but temporal. And what he nieans 
evidently is this: that underneath the seen and 
passing things, here and now and in our midst, is 
a world of unseen reality ; that heaven lies about 
us, not only, as the poet says, " in our infancy," 
but all our days ; that these unseen realities make 


Things Seen and Unseen 

use of the seen, but exist independently of them ; 
that it is possible as we walk the earth day 
by day to have our head above the mists in 
heaven ; that our calling is to be eternal beings 
in a world of time, and that the real test of the 
use of life is what life leaves us when it has passed 

It becomes, tien, brethren, the most vital 
question in the world for us all: ^*What are 
these unseen realities which use nature and earthly 
happiness and life, and yet do not pass with them ?" 
And first, undoubtedly, as summing up all the 
rest, we must name the unseen God at work. I 
do not know how it is with you, my friends, 
but to me life is a different thing when once we 
believe that God is really at work in our midst. 
This great belief certainly changes our view of 
the Church, of history, and of Nature ; but to-day 
I would only seek to show that it changes entirely 
the individual life. A just, living, stern, yet faith- 
ful God at work on the individual life I It is 
scarcely too much to say that nothing matters if 
this is true. See what a difference it makes at 
once to each individual member of this congrega- 
tion. You entered the church, perhaps, with a 
feeling of desolation of being alone in London ; 


Things Seen and Unseen 

you have come up, perhaps, from the country for 
the winter's work, and you are feeling a strain in 
this great Metropolis. Now change the point of 
view. You are a beloved child in the hands of a 
strong and living God. Have you not passed at 
a bound from the seen to the unseen, from the 
temporal to the eternal.? You came to church 
feeling the sport of the >vaves of this troublesome 
world ; at any moment misfortune might overtake 
you, a trial overwhelm you, death sweep you away. 
If you believe in this first unseen reality you are 
anchored to a rock in the midst of this troublesome 
world, where no trouble can touch you, where no 
chance can ruin you, and no death can disturb you 
for more than a moment. If it were only your 
own hands which held God you might be insecure, 
but God has a hold of you with a grasp so firm, 
with a pressure so steady, that no man or devil can 
pluck you out of your Father's hands. Now, do 
we believe this } If not, why not } 

I believe, from experience, that if we do not 
believe it the reasons are mainly three : First, the 
impossibility of believing that tKe same unseen 
Power can give his undivided attention to each 
individual at each moment. There are so many 
millions, we say, of people all wanting His care. 


Things Seen and Unseen 

Secondly, we are impressed by the apparent chance 
according to which so many things happen in the 
world ; and, thirdly, we are daunted by the 
apparent failure which often seems the ending, if 
not of our own lives, at least of lives which by 
hypothesis were as carefully guided as our own. 

But to understand these difficulties we must recall 
the second unseen reality which persists under all 
changes, and that unseen thing, as invisible as the 
invisible God, is the character of man. If you come 
to think of it we never really see each other. We 
note what a man says, we see what he doeSj we 
watch how he acts, but we never see him. The 
man is out of sight behind appearances. 

** Thy body at its best — 
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way ?" 

But, because unseen, character is permanent. The 
character of man is affected by everything and 
destroyed by nothing. The unseen God at work 
upon the unseen character of man — here is a reality 
which underlies the changes and chances of this 
passing world. What a dignity it gives to life! 
It makes no difference henceforward whether we 
are poor or rich, famous or unknown ; character, 
not riches, is the object of life, and the pauper will 

193 o 

Things Seen and Unseen 

be numbered with the princes, for the aristocracy 
of character is the only aristocracy which lasts 
beyond the grave. How it robs a trial of its 
bitterness if the object of existence is not happiness, 
but holiness 1 No wonder trial comes to us ; it 
comes to burn out the dross, and purge and purify 
the gold. We do not mind falling into the hand 
of God, if we are sure it is the hand of God. " It 
is good for me to have been troubled that I may 
learn Thy statutes." That is the cry of the soul 
that has looked past the apparent uselessness of 
pain to the unseen purpose which it serves. 
What a stern yet inspiring object it gives to life ! 
Everything becomes tremendously worth while : it 
is worth while to make friends, for they last for 
ever ; it is worth while to work for others, for 
their characters all go on beyond the grave ; it is 
worth while to take trouble with ourselves, for we 
make or mar something which to all eternity will 
reveal the marks of what we do or leave undone. 

And that brings us, brethren, to the very diffi- 
culties which bar our way to this belief. First, is 
it conceivable that the infinite God can care for 
the finite son of man } I answer : Is it conceivable 
that He does not ? A great general is the one who, 
while he plans the whole scheme of a campaign, 


Things Seen and Unseen 

knows each bridge by which the scouts can retreat, 
and the exact spot where the attacking force can 
scale the heights. A great biologist is a man 
who carries in his head the details of every form 
of life that he has observed, and ever has his eye 
open to note the smallest variety on the bird's 
wing or the fish's fin. And yet these are finite men. 
Is it conceivable that the infinite God is not great 
with the true greatness which can hold the details 
together with the principle, and, while He can 
control the movements of the planets, can also count 
the very hairs of every child whom he has made? 
As so often happens, it is not the reason, it is the 
imagination which cannot grasp this great concep- 
tion. The reason would tell us that, if there is a 
God at all worth the name, it must be so ; every 
individual must be a thought of God, and there 
is no reason for contradicting revelation when it 
adds that each single character is an object of His 
never-ceasing care. 

But, again, why do so many things seem to be 
left to chance } If an unseen God is working out 
His unseen will, what room is there for chance at 
all ? And the answer is a very simple one : There 
is no room, for there is no such thing as chance. 
If the nineteenth century has taught us nothing 

195 o 2 

Things Seen and Unseen 

else, towards its close it has taught us this — the 
universality of the reign of law. The wildest 
hurricane, the most unexpected earthquake, the 
slow progress of cancer — all work with the force of 
undeviating law. And the sole difference on this 
point between a Christian and an unbeliever is 
this : that whereas the one believes the law to be 
directed by no person in particular, the Christian 
believes the law to be in the hands of a Person 
who is working out through it a higher law of life, 
as the poet Browning declares in his terse epigram, 
"All's love, but all's law." 

But why, then, thirdly, are there any moral 
failures if the unseen God is at work on the char- 
acter of man ? It may be urged in that case that 
nothing can go wrong; the potter moulds the 
clay, and it is his fault if the vessel is a bad one. 
Yes, if it were clay which he is moulding ; but 
what if the material itself is semi-Divine ? What 
if the character itself begins in God's image, and 
in His likeness, however many years of subsequent 
training it may need before it is fully complete .? 
What if the essential part of that character is its 
moral freedom and responsibility, so that to force 
it to be good is to break His image ? Then even 
God Himself must will and influence and persuade 


Things Seen and Unseen 

— never force. Then there will always be the 
possibility that man may defy the purpose of 
the unseen God, prefer the seen to the unseen, 
the temporal to the eternal, and throw away with 
his own hands the birthright of an eternity 
with God. There is no hell revealed except for 
those who, as our Saviour says, have both seen 
and hated both Me and My Father. 

How, then, are we to live this unseen and 
eternal life in the midst of a visible and passing 
world ? Not, certainly, by proud isolation from 
the interests of this world ; not, certainly, by 
Pharisaical contempt of others, or by a gloomy 
depreciation of the joys of life. On the contrary, 
no one ought to be so bright or helpful, so cheerful 
under trouble, so brave under difficulties, as a 
child of light on whom the sun of God's love ever 
shines, and whose angel always beholds the face of 
our Father which is in heaven. But the secret of 
his strength will be this, and the answer to our 
question comes in strangely familiar words : " his 
life is hid with Christ in God.'* 

First, by perpetual prayer, he begins to rise, and 
again he rises higher through the mists, and suns 
himself in the presence of an unfailing light 
which never wanes. If we have given up our 


Things Seen and Unseen 

prayers, if we have become careless about them, 
and even done away with them, or if we hurry 
them over as mere forms — if so, then on this first 
of October, ere the winter half of the year begins, 
go back to prayer ; go back to the perpetual 
summer — prayer; go up with Moses regularly 
into the mount to pray, and you will come down 
with the glory on your face, though it needs 
perpetual renewal from the countenance of God 

Secondly, live by eternal principle. Whatever 
else you may at this moment doubt you will never 
doubt this — you cannot — that right is right, and 
wrong is wrong. Many of us in our days of 
doubt have clung to that. Live by that eternal 
principle until further light appears. They that 
will to do the will of God shall at last know the 
doctrine whether it be of God. As further light 
appears, and clearer outlines of the eternal hills 
stand out, mark them and shape your course by 
them. They will lead you out of the marshy 
ground and the mists which fill it to the heights 
of God Himself, whose righteousness standeth like 
a strong mountain, and whose judgments are like 
to the great deep. 

And, lastly, work with the eternal God. After 

Things Seen and Unseen 

all, nothing is so binding as common work, and 
nothing so lifts work out of the temporal and 
transitory as the idea of being fellow-workers with 
the eternal God. Work with Him as He moulds 
your own character ; co-operate with His grace, and 
He will then be able to give you grace for grace ; 
work with Him in your own homes, make it easier 
for the children and the servants to live there the 
life of God ; work with Him in the wider world 
outside your home, and advance inch by inch the 
frontier of the kingdom of God. And what will 
be the result to ourselves if, in however inadequate 
a way, we try to live on earth the eternal life of 
heaven.^ Let me answer by parable. In Scot- 
land a few weeks ago, on a gloomy hill, wrapped 
in shadow, we were beating up against a storm 
with the rain falling full on us, and yet in front 
of us lay a land of apparently perpetual sun- 
shine ; the hills stood out clear and bright in the 
light, the sea crept smiling to their feet. It was 
like a view of the Delectable Mountains which 
the weary pilgrims saw. But it all seemed afar 
off, as though belonging to another world. The 
sight of the sun seemed almost to mock us as 
we fought on through the storm. Presently the 
wind ceased, the storm rolled away, the sun poured 


Things Seen and Unseen 

down upon us, our gloomy hill itself shone with 
light. We could not reach the happy vision, but 
the happy vision had come to us. And it was 
God's sunshine which had worked the change. 


Addresses on Special 

i! ■ 

},.);;; , 



'^ Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in 
their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, 
and healing every sickness and every disease among the 
people." — St. Matt. ix. 35. 

I T sometimes happens that two branches of what 
* is really one family drift apart until they 
almost forget their common ancestry ; in each 
generation misunderstandings, slight in themselves, 
widen the breach ; stories against one another are 
repeated and believed, simply from the want of 
opportunity for mutual explanation, until it comes 
to pass that two sets of people with the same 
founder, the same blood, the same traditions, and 
largely the same aim in life, stand apart from one 
another in a state of aloofness and suspicion, 

• Preached at the Annual Service for Physicians and 
Surgeons on the eve of St. Luke's Day, 1899. 


Sf. Lukes Guild 

instead of marching shoulder to shoulder with the 
full confidence of brothers in a common work. 

Now, far be it from me to assert that this is an 
accurate picture of the relations between the two 
great professions to which you and I, my brothers, 
respectively belong ; but, on the other hand, few 
will deny that there is not always that complete 
accord, that perfect confidence and mutual trust 
which should exist between two bodies of men 
descended from a common Founder, and carrying 
on two different sides of one common work. 

In the passage I have taken for our text, we 
have a touching picture of Jesus Christ engaged 
upon His double task; He went about all the 
cities and villages, the prototype of the parish 
priest, teaching in the synagogues and preaching 
the Gospel of the Kingdom, but also the proto- 
type of the good physician, healing every sickness 
and every disease among the people. 

That He is the prototype of our clerical pro- 
fession no one would deny ; whatever views may 
be held about Apostolical succession, everyone 
would admit that the parish priest of to-day is 
carrying on the task left him by Jesus Christ, 
that, as he goes up and down the slums of 
a great city, or ministers to the needs of the 


Sf. Lukes Guild 

cottagers in some country village, he is following 
the steps of Jesus Christ, as He taught in the 
synagogues and preached the Gospel of the 
Kingdom. But the point I would press home on 
you this evening is this : that you, surgeons and 
physicians, in a Christian country, are as really 
carrying on in your way this work ; that you 
are going up and down the same cities and same 
villages, sent by the same Master, responsible to 
the same Lord, and united to us by this wonderful 
bond ; that you are doing the other half of one 
common work, '* healing every sickness and every 
disease among the people/' 

Of course, I have no wish to deny or underrate 
the difficulties which are felt about our Master's 
cures ; they are naturally felt even more strongly 
by you than by any other body of thinking men ; 
you are so accustomed to trace the subtle con- 
nection between cause and effect, so trained to 
accept no result without making scientifically sure 
of what produced it, that undoubtedly these 
miracles of healing must present a special difficulty 
to your minds, and I would suggest — though it 
only be in passing — three sources of comfort to 
those for whom they possibly may present a 
standing difficulty to-day. 


St. Lukes Guild 

1. The mystery of life itself. After all the 
volumes which have been written about life, am I 
not right in saying that no one yet knows what 
life is? Herbert Spencer can define it for us, as 
perfect correspondence to environment ; but does 
that really tell us what is the difference between a 
living man and a corpse ? It is not too much to 
say that no break in the uniformity of nature can 
be so remarkable as that which took place when 
this mysterious thing we call life either gradually 
or suddenly appeared. And yet all believe in 
life. Does not the very mysteriousness of life 
itself hush our voices as to what may be possible 
when life is in the hands of One, whom, as 
Christians, we believe to be the Lord of life .? 

2. That Jesus Christ did many and wonderful 
works is one of the best attested facts recorded 
about Him. We have outlived the days when it 
used to be supposed that if the Gospels could be 
traced back to some elementary story underlying 
them all, it would be discovered that the original 
story contained no miracles, but that these miracles 
were the later accretions of an age which had 
idealised its hero. As a matter of fact, it is the 
most original story which is the most full of 
miracles ; one of the clearest things recorded 



Sf. Lukes Guild 

about Jesus Christ is that He was a healer ; the 
very discourses so hinge upon the miracles that 
it is impossible to tear them away, and instead 
of these cures being a later accretion which can 
be thrown over without injury to the fabric of the 
story, they are an integral part of the fabric itself. 
3. Again — and this is, perhaps, the most striking 
evidence of all — everyone to-day unites in praising 
Jesus Christ as the Great Philanthropist. When 
Hospital Sunday comes round. Church and Chapel 
vie in showing how hospitals followed the track of 
Christianity across Europe, and it is a well-known 
historical fact that for the first tliousand years of 
Christianity every hospital in Europe had for its 
house-governor the Bishop of the diocese. But 
why this immense and unanimous belief in Christ's 
philanthropy? why this effluence of healing in 
memory of the Great Healer? It can only be 
because these miracles of healing, from the very 
earliest days, were ascribed to His power. He 
did no cures except miraculous cures ; He healed 
no one, so far as we know, by the art of medicine 
or of surgery, and, though we are right in holding 
that He did it all by the knowledge of some 
higher law than we know yet, and that all miracles 
will be seen some day to be, like all other things 


Sf. Luke's Guild 

in God's universe, "according to law,** yet it was 
the very knowledge and the practical use of this 
higher law which, among other things, stamped 
Him as more than man. 

I take it, then, as proved that in the double 
work of Jesus Christ, recorded in our text, the 
second half was as real as the first. " He taught in 
the synagogue, and preached the Gospel of the 
kingdom," and " He also healed every sickness 
and every disease among the people." 

What follows, then, from this ? This follows : 
that a scarcely less solemn commission rests on 
you than rests on us. "As the Father hath sent me, 
even so send I you " — that is the high commission 
under which we priests of religion start on our 
work to heal the soul. " As the Father hath sent 
me, even so send I you" — that is also the glorious 
command under which you go forward — priests, 
too, of suffering humanity, stewards, too, of all 
your stores of healing art, ministers, too, of the 
most high God — to carry out your mission of 
mercy and kindness to the ends of the earth. 

It is the forgetfulness, on the part of some, of the 
sacredness of your great vocation, and the divorce 
of healing from religion, which has led in our 
day to the popularity — passing and ephemeral, as I 


St. Lukes Guild 

believe it is — of what is called Christian Science. 
Every heresy lives by the grain of truth which 
it contains, just as every schism in the Christian 
Church has arisen to call attention to some for- 
gotten truth. We have learnt to see this fact 
and cordially accept it in the religious world, and 
in this spirit you yourselves must judge concern- 
ing what you rightly look upon in its practical 
results as a mischievous heresy. The grain of 
truth which Christian science contains is its appeal 
to the sacredness of the healing art ; it is an 
appeal, expressed in however mistaken a fashion, 
made to the great Healer Himself. " You have 
forgotten," they say, " whence healing comes ; you 
have forgotten the rock whence ye are hewn, and 
the hole of the pit whence ye are digged ; you 
have become materialist men ministering to an 
unbelieving age ; we go back to Christ ; we go 
back to the Good Physician ; but for the want of 
faith in Him cures would be worked as of old on 
the bodies as well as on the souls of men." That 
is what they say, and the true answer is to be 
given, not by the bandying of texts backwards and 
forwards, not even by the frank recognition of the 
influence of the mind upon the body, especially 
in neurotic cases, not even by pointing to the 

209 p 

St. Luke^s Guild 

damning evidence of the death which in serious 
cases follows such treatment or want of treatment, 
and which no sophistry can explsdn, but by true 
reconsecration of medicine and surgery, by the 
reclaiming of the healing art for Christ, by the 
reuniting into one great brotherhood again the 
ministers of the soul and the ministers of the body, 
as sent forth together on their high mission by the 
one Master of them both. 

In what way, then, to come to practical details* 
can the two professions draw closer to one another ? 
I speak out of a happy experience of perhaps 
exceptionally affectionate relations with the doctors 
of the district in every quarter, town and country, 
in which I happen to have worked myself. 

In the first place, I think that we clergy 
ought to understand and to respect that love of 
accurate observation and faithfulness to scientific 
truth which is or ought to be the special charac- 
teristic of a good doctor. Who can read such a 
book as the " Origin of Species " without a deep 
reverence for the enormous industry, the accurate 
observation, and the careful verifying of every 
theory by comparison with ascertained facts which 
characterised the great Darwin? And if sudi 
training in the case of doctors makes them slowei 


St. Lukes Guild 

to accept and more painfully to verify the truths 
of religion, we ought to sympathise and under- 

In the second place, we must remember that 
the great use made of the analytic reason tends, 
as it did in the case of Darwin himself, to atrophy 
the imagination, and that, just as our temptation 
as priests of the soul is to dwell too exclu- 
sively on the emotional side of man's nature, so 
your temptation, my brothers, is to leave out 
the cultivation of its imaginative side altogether, 
whereas, as a matter of fact, the eye of the soul, 
which sees truth, must comprise the imagination, 
the formative powers of the brain, as well as the 
analytic reason ; poetry, music, the stories of great 
deeds help to keep alive the man within us, and 
prevent him from drifting into the drudge, and 
it is to the man, not to the drudge, that religion 

So, again, and I merely touch on these points, 
as I am addressing doctors, not clergymen, we 
should remember how difficult it is for a busy 
man, with cases which involve life or death 
constantly upon him, to be as regular as others at 
religious services, and to make more allowances 
than we are apt to do for inconstant attendance ; 

211 P 2 

St. Luke^s Guild 

for nothing tends to make a man really irre- 
ligious so much as being unfairly looked upon as 

But if in this way we towards you might show 
some brotherly understanding, on the other hand 
you towards us might show the same. 

In the first place, we, too, have a science, the 
science of theology, as difficult and as delicate as 
your science of surgery and medicine. You are 
rightly indignant if one of us strays across the 
border which divides theology and medicine, and 
lays down the law in a department of which he 
knows nothing ; but is it quite unknown for even 
a distinguished biologist or physician to forget 
that his training in biology or medicine does not 
necessarily qualify him to lay down the law in the 
region of theology ? " Two babies were born last 
night : they were both weakly ; one was baptized, 
not the other, but I don't suppose it made much 
difference " — so I once heard a doctor say with half 
a sneer to a young curate. But, mark this — our 
reasons for believing in the use of baptism are in 
their way as scientific as your own belief in 
vaccination ; it is founded on the command of 
our common Master, who was so entirely opposed 
to formalism that He would never have laid down 


St. Lukes Guild 

as a necessary part of His religion a useless form ; 
and the knowledge of what the Church holds and 
what it does not hold on the subject, the piecing 
together of the various Scriptural assertions on 
which its belief is founded, the reasonableness of 
some definite sign of admission into a holy society, 
the new state of privilege to which such admission 
leads, the new responsibilities involved, the safe- 
guarding that the child shall understand what 
they are by the institution of god-parents, the 
special grace of baptism as distinguished from 
confirmation — all these things want study and 
careful thought and balanced statement as much 
as any scientific truth which may be taught in the 
hospitals to-day ; and if this is true of such an 
elementary truth as baptism, how much more is 
it true of the evidence for the Resurrection, the 
reasonableness of prayer, the true doctrine of the 
Holy Communion, and the reconciliation of such 
a fact as the Atonement, with the justice of God 
on the one hand and the permanence of man's 
character on the other? 

So, again, do you make enough allowance for 
our practical difficulties in teaching? You go 
into some country church, and you hear some 
simple explanation of the Gospel of the day 


St. Lukes Guild 

addressed to the simple \dllage folk who may be 
present ; it touches none of your difficulties, and 
you make up your mind that the parson of the 
place is a man behind the times, who could not 
possibly help you in your own difficulties, whereas, 
if you gave him your confidence, you would often 
find that he would only too gladly give you by 
yourself strong meat for men, although^ well 
educated and intellectually keen as he was, he had 
perforce to give in church milk to babes. 

And, again, from the practical point of view, 
have you ever thought what a strength and lift it 
would be to some struggling parish priest, who 
may come into your district to carry on a difficult 
work, if you as a Christian layman, as a Church- 
man of his church, went to him and gave him, 
especially in his opening years, that moral support 
which you by experience of the district and your 
standing with the people enabled you to give ? 

Forgive me, my friends, if I seem to descend to 
trivial details ; but it is only, after all, in details that 
anything can be done, and my heart's desire is that 
the priests of the soul and the priests of the body 
to the suflfering humanity of England shall once 
more be united under the Master who has sent 
them both. 


St. Lukes Guild 

There are many things which tend to unite 
us if we will only let them. First, the sufferer 
himself. We tread on one another's heels time 
after time, do we not, in the cities and villages of 
to-day. " Please, sir, the doctor is with him now." 
or, "The clergyman will be here directly." How 
often we hear that, do we not, on our rounds, 
and how gladly each of us should respect and 
reverence one another's work ! How well I can 
recollect in my first curacy how the young surgeon 
in the infirmary in which I was chaplain shared 
with me his interest and anxiety over his first 
operation for tracheotomy, with what delight we 
watched the child recover, and how, when, the 
child had been taken home, he would walk off on 
Sunday twelve miles into the country to be able 
to report to me on his return progress towards 
the complete cure. Yes; the suflferer holds the 
hand of each and joins us together. 

Then, again, we are united by the presence of 
death, in which we both so constantly stand. We 
do ill if it hardens us, if it makes us careless, 
irreverent or flippant ; it ought to maintain in us 
both a sense of the shortness of life and the 
inevitable judgment ; it ought to force upon us 
the constant question, What is the purpose of 


St. Lukes Guild 

life? Something, it must be, which lasts beyond 
death, or all human efFort is most obviously futile 
and unsatisfying. The same dead face which we 
have both tended ought to speak to us a message 
which tends to make us one. 

And, lastly, and above all, we have in many 
cases, if not in most, the bond of a common faith. 
It is appropriate and natural that you should make 
St. Luke a kind of patron saint, for in his own 
person, like his Master, he has joined the doctor 
and the Evangelist, and we think with a grateful 
memory to-day of one, just passed to his rest, 
who fulfilled a like office in our own time, 
"Dr. Hicks, the late Bishop of Bloemfontein," 
writes one of the highest officials of your guild, 
" was the only Fellow of the College of Physicians 
in Holy Orders, and we delighted to have such 
a man in our body ; we all loved and venerated 
him. His death on the very day war broke out 
in the Orange Free State was a touching thing ; 
it seemed as if his work for the present was 
over. He was one of those saintly men whose 
influence went out and touched all who came in 
contact with it, and the Church can very ill aflTord 
to spare such men." May I endorse on behalf of 
those in Orders in the Church these words, which 



St. Lukes Guild 

truly describe a man who in his own person joins 
us both together ? 

A common faith — that is our bond which we 
have met in this cathedral church to cement ; for to 
draw near to Christ is to draw near to one another. 
May God bless the work of the St. Luke's Guild, 
which seeks to keep before the eyes of all the lofty 
vocation of a Christian doctor and the power 
through which alone that vocation may be fidfilled! 
God bless the medical missions which it seeks to 
foster, the hostel which it hopes to start to give 
them a greater impulse, and the dispensaries in 
connection with mission work at home to which it 
sends some of its most distinguished members. 

Go forth, then, to your work, my brothers — 
and may I welcome by a single word the presence 
of those who not many years ago would not have 
been found in such an assemblage, by adding also 
" my sisters " — determined to be men and women 
of prayer, to rise in the morning in time to con- 
secrate your busy day to the Master who has 
given you the work to do and sent you to do it. 
Lift up your hearts in intercession for the patients 
whom you tend, even if this must needs be done 
in the carriage which takes you from place to place ; 
draw near to Christ in the closest way of all, in 


Sf. Luke's Guild 

the blessed Communion of His body and blood, 
which He instituted as much for those who tend 
the body as those who tend the soul ; refuse to 
take any but the highest ideal of what your 
glorious work may be, and pray that, as you lay 
down at last your great commission, and give back 
the trust committed to your charge, you may hear 
as the rew2g-d of your life's work : " Well done, 
good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy 
of thy Lord." 




" Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ?" 

Gen. xviii. 25. 

OUR thoughts naturally turn to-day to justice. 
When the chief representatives of justice in 
our land solemnly in procession enter the house of 
God, it is something more than an interesting 
ceremony ; it is something more, even, than the 
acknowledgment on behalf of a great profession 
of the majesty of God. What we see to-day is 
the justice of man covering itself in the shadow of 
the justice of God. 

We need to stay ourselves upon this certainty 
of the justice of Almighty God. Our brothers 
who are worshipping with us to-day would be the 
first to say how difficult justice is ; how anxiously 
they have to think over the cases which come 

• Preached before Her Majesty's Judges, June, 1900. 

God^s yustice 

before them ; how carefully they have to balance 
this fact and that fact, how painfiilly to weigh one 
piece of evidence against another ; and although 
the thought, if allowed too much scope, would 
positively paralyse them in the discharge of their 
duties, yet how often they must be conscious of 
the fallibility of human justice after all. As 
believers in God, and still more in God as 
revealed in Christ, how often must they fall back 
on the Divine justice, and beg that omniscient 
Being who has seen every case which comes before 
them from the beginning to the end, who can read 
human hearts with a clearness of which we know 
nothing — the God of Judgment, as He is called 
in the Bible, by whom actions are weighed — 
to aid them with His supernatural wisdom, and 
grant that as their day, so shall their strength be. 
The cry of their hearts must often be the old-world 
cry of Abraham : ** We are weak, fallible men 
ourselves ; we can but do our best, but shall not 
the Judge of all the earth do right?" 

But it is not only those concerned with the 
administration of justice who fall back upon the 
justice of God ; I expect that if we knew the 
truth about one another's souls, we should find 
out that it is a belief in the justice of God which 


God^s yustice 

is saving many a poor soul even in this congregation 
from despair. " God will right me some day," is 
the cry of some poor man who has had apparently 
everything against him all his life, who lost his 
last situation through an unjust accusation which 
he could not rebut, and who sees his wife and 
children growing poorer and shabbier and less well- 
fed every day, and yet, as far as he can see, from 
no fault at all of his own. There are many 
people in the world who seem to have nothing 
left but the justice of God. 

And even with us common people with our 
ordinary lives, who have no special sense of in- 
justice, I doubt if you could rob us of a more 
precious possession than of our belief in the 
justice of God. Think for a moment of the 
meaning of that awful title Judge of all the earth. 
We feel that to judge this congregation would be 
the task of a giant intellect, to judge London 
would be the work of a demi-god, but to judge 
the worlds to have the ultimate decision of the 
fate of every soul — Anglo-Saxon, German, Jew, 
Russian, French, Italian, Hindoo, Chinese, in- 
cluding the 8cx> million heathen who know not A 
God as revealed in Christ ; and not only those m 
on earth now, but all who h^g|«|^^ved^^Li^^ 

Go(P$ yustice 

brain reels if we try to think for a moment what 
this means. But, still, though we cannot measure 
it, there is not one believing Christian here to-day 
who is not quietly resting — as under the shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land — beneath the 
justice of God, ultimately to be demonstrated 
before the whole world, but at work now. " Shall 
not the Judge of all the earth do right?" How- 
ever puzzling things seem, if He is anything, He 
must be just. He seems to leave the righteous 
forsaken, and his seed sometimes beg their bread ; 
but we say to ourselves that, one day. He will 
be justified in His sayings and clear when He is 
udgjed. If we could demonstrate the injustice of 
God, we men should be indeed most miserable. 

And yet — there is no denying it — ^it is possible 
to make out a very plausible case against the 
justice of God. In open-air debates and discus- 
sions after lectures in East London, infinitely the 
hardest thing to defend with regard to God is His 
justice, and in our own hearts the debate must 
sometimes go on, even when there is none to 
suggest it from without. And the accuser, whether 
within or without, is apt to take one of three 
grounds, or all three together : 

(i) The inequality in the fortunes of men ; 


God^s yustice 

(2) the vindictiveness and excessive nature of 
God*s punishments ; and (3) the alleged injustice 
of the Atonement — -these are the three chief accusa- 
tions against God, and it is perfectly true that if 
each or any of these points could be made good, 
a terrible blow would be struck at God's justice. 
If it could be proved against an earthly judge that 
he was habitually unfair in his awards, that his 
punishments displayed a vindictiveness and even 
savagery of nature, and yet that he allowed a 
perfectly innocent scapegoat to be sacrificed to his 
anger, and let the real culprit off scot free, it is 
clear that his character as a judge would be lost 
for ever. 

I. Let us take, then, the first accusation as being 
the most obvious and most common — the inequality 
in the human lots, and we cannot do better than 
take as an illustration the death of Nance in that 
striking book of contrasting pictures which goes 
under the name of " 5, John Street." 

Nance had worked in a rubber factory. *' The 
mixed naphtha fumes so pervade the general 
scheme of things in the factory," we read, " that 
everything reeks of them. The poor child brings 
what she calls the taste of them home to bed with 
her at night and rises with it in the morning. It 


God^s Justice 

comes between her palate and all natural flavours, 
and gives a loathing for the kindly fruits of the 
earth. Nance carries her dinner to the factory 
and eats it there. While waiting to be eaten, it 
absorbs the vapours of the place ; but the really 
odd thing/' says the writer, " is that the only way 
to get so much as a morsel of it down is to serve 
it in the very room in which it has received the 
taint. Try to eat it outside, and the palate, 
revived by the fresher air, instantly rejects the 
nauseating dose." On a naturally weak girl the 
inevitable result follows : Nance is slowly poisoned, 
" It was a tragic death," continues the writer, 
" for it was the death of a dot, a speck of humanity, 
an item of no account. Nances Maker owed 
Nance nothingy and kept up the stem refusal to 
recognise any semblance of a claim to the last. 
She had been taught no faith, and death was to 
her * the sense that the house of the body was a 
house falling in on all sides — the sense of the 
world spinning, spinning away from her, as the 
final hour drew nigh.' Not that she was leaving 
the world, but that the world was leaving her for 
its appointed track in space, while the wind of its 
mighty rush sang in her ears * down the ringing 
grooves of change,' and all its warmth of life and 


God^s yustice 

light faded ofF into the infinite, while she survived 
alone in the cold and dark. All she saw were the 
rapids with the fall in sight through a break in 
the black sky. The grip on the other factory 
girFs palm tightened as she balanced on the edge 
pf the green water and saw the boiling foam beyond. 
There was blood trickling from her friend's palm 
where the nail had entered the flesh when all was 

And then think how your daughter would have 
died — perhaps did die. We who know the slums, 
who have been with girls like that as they breathe 
out their young lives in some foetid garret — we 
echo the sad saying of the old man who in his 
thinking could only arrive at this: "There's some- 
thing in this world amiss." There certainly is, 
but our question for to-day goes no further than 
to ask whether it is the justice of God which is 
amiss? If we really think that God is directly 
responsible for human avarice and human selfish- 
ness, for poisonous trades carried on without 
proper safeguards for human life, and for rents 
taken for houses which are more fit for animals 
than men and women ; then undoubtedly the 
inequality of opportunity in life, the inequality in 
the fortunes of men and women, is a grave 

225 Q 

God^s Justice 

charge against the justice of God. But has it ever 
occurred to you, my friends, how easy it is to 
throw on God the responsibility which really Jies 
upon ourselves ? When God made us in His 
image, He made us in a real way His viceroys 
upon earth. As in politics it is the great justifica- 
tion of a wide franchise that responsibility exercises 
a creative influence upon those who possess it ; so 
it is only what we may well expect, that having 
laid down certain broad principles of justice and 
equity, and having provided what, if properly 
arranged and distributed, is ample provision for 
this human family, God should leave to His 
children as part of the probation and training of 
their characters the task of distribution. 

No one can deny the difliiculty of it ; no one 
has any right to underrate the difficulty of curing 
the shocking overcrowding of the slums of London 
to-day, but, on the other hand, no one has any 
right to deny that the death of girls like Nance is 
a preventible death ; that all the accumulation of 
wealth is not justified if it is gathered at the 
cost of the sacrifice of young lives ; that before we 
spend our money there comes a most important 
preliminary question as to how we make it ; and 
that when we arrive at the distribution of it there 


God^s yustice 

is only one law for Christians: "As every man 
hath received the gift, even so minister." 

" Where is Abel thy brother ?" You were one 
of the minority ; you had money, education, 
religious training, but there was a life linked with 
yours. It was lived in a slum, but it was the life 
of a child of God ; what you had was in trust for 
him or her. Like two boys sent together to 
school, you had the journey money and the 
supplies ; but if you have used them on yourself, 
he or she must be starving. "Where is Abel thy 
brother?" This is the question which the so- 
called unjust God rings in our ears. We may 
think to put Him off with the excuse, " I know 
not ; am I my brother's keeper .?" but He will 
denounce it again as He denounced it of old, as 
the excuse of a murderer ; with inexorable justice 
He will demand to the last farthing an examina- 
tion of our trust ; with rigorous impartiality will 
He sum up the balance and ask it at our hands, 
and instead of too little justice, some of us may 
find that in God there is more justice than we 
like. Happy is the man who can answer thus : 
" Here am I, Lord, of Thine infinite mercy, and 
here is Abel my brother." 

2. But probably an even commoner drawback 
227 Q a 

God^s yustice 

to a full trust in the justice of God is the idea 
that His punishments are vindictive. After my 
first lecture in Bethnal Green ten years ago, I 
invited two hundred working-men to choose the 
subject for the next Sunday. With one voice they 
chose " Eternal Punishment"; and it is one of the 
commonest accusations against the Gospels that 
they portray a Being delighting in vengeance, and 
casting the majority of the human race into 
torment, ** where their worm dieth not and the 
fire is not quenched." 

Now, in dealing with great subjects like these 
one can hardly do more than suggest headings for 
an answer ; any one of these three objections to 
the justice of God would need not only a sermon, 
but an exhaustive lecture by itself. We may, how- 
ever, roughly take as a safe rule for those who have 
no time to go deeply into the matter : " Throw 
overboard any theory of future punishment which 
conflicts with the dictates of your conscience/* It 
is better to hold an inadequate idea of sin and 
punishment than to attempt to serve a God whom 
you do not really trust ; let us take care that such 
religion as we have is a genuine one, and it is far 
better to assume that certain passages in the Bible 
have been misunderstood than attempt the impos- 


God^s Justice 

sible task of trusting with our hearts Someone of 
whom our conscience disapproves. 

But having cleared the air in this way first, let 
us proceed to look more coolly at the evidence for 
this charge of vindictive cruelty. It is clear that 
there must be some mistake in supposing that the 
character of God is represented as so vindictive in 
the Gospels ; inasmuch as historically it is the 
Gospels themselves which have created this demand 
that God must be considered as a loving Father. 
Anyone acquainted with the conceptions of God 
in other religions which present Him now as 
the jealous One, now as a kind of irresponsible 
Allah, now as a great Sensualist, and even among 
the Jews rather as a Ruler than a Father, will 
gratefully acknowledge that to the Gospels and 
the Gospels alone we owe the idea of a God of 

Stripping off, then, the imagery obviously drawn 
from the fires of Gehenna, which ceaselessly burned 
the ofFal and rubbish outside Jerusalem, how are 
we to reconcile the clear revelation of severe 
punishment, and possibly lasting punishment, with 
the justice of God ? 

Now, we may take it as an axiom that, as an 

old writer says, " When self-will ceases hell ceases." 


God's yustice 

The sin carries with it the hell, whether here or 
hereafter, and when the self-will which is at the 
root of the sin ceases, the hell ceases. But here 
comes the point, Will the self-will cease? We 
lightly sometimes conclude that it must, but we 
have terrible evidence that on the other hand it 
may not. Do we never see men so hardened even 
now in drunken habits that, apparently, we may 
almost say that they cannot turn? Do we not 
know what happens to those who give themselves 
away so utterly to lust that their very conscience 
becomes seared with a red-hot iron ? What is to 
happen to those who say now or at the end of a 
million years, " Evil, be thou my good ** ? Take 
them to heaven ? But heaven would be hell to 
them ; the purity of heaven would scorch the 
mere sensualist. Break their free will^ and make 
them good? But you break then the very thing 
which makes them in the image of God. Melt 
them with love ? But what if they will not melt? 
" No soul will be lost," says Dr. Pusey, who may 
be taken as the most orthodox of the orthodox, 
"who has not had the Father throw His arms 
round him, look in his face with eyes of love, 
and has deliberately rejected Him." " They have 
both seen and hated both Me and My Father." 


God^s yustice 

It is this, then, against which our Lord warns 
us in His earnest and passionate words: — the 
possibility of so hardening our wills as not to be 
able to turn? To have within us always the 
burning flame of inextinguishable hate, to carry 
about with us the growing sense of shame — that 
shame which still glories in its shame — this is hell 
with a vengeance, whether here or hereafter, and 
it is a hell into which any one of us may drift. 
Are you dallying to-day, my brother, with some 
seductive temptation, letting your thoughts play 
round it? Remember that this is the first step 
towards a true hell which may begin here and 
last hereafter, and from which even God cannot 
save you if you persist. 

Dr. Paget, in his Oxford House paper on 
"Eternal Punishment," pictures a man coming 
with a heart full of lust and hate to a home where 
a loving wife and children are waiting for him, 
and a bright welcome ready for him. Whose fault 
is it, he asks, that he hates the whole thing as he 
looks round and turns with a curse away ? And 
Dr. Paget's answer must carry the conscience of 
us all with him : " At any rate, not the wife's." 

With Infinite love and care a home has been 
prepared for each human soul, and a welcome 


God^s Justice 

made ready, in these touching words : " Inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning 

; of the world." Whose fault is it if in despite of 

love, in defiance of every divine effort, that soul 
clings to the sin which carries in itself the fire 
prepared, not for men's souls, but for the devil 
and his angels? Whose fault, I ask? At any rate, 
not God's. 

i 3. We have only a few moments left in which 

; to deal with the last slur cast on the justice of 

God : " Did the Judge of all the earth do right 
when He accepted an innocent suflferer in the 
place of the guilty?" Clearly, it could not be 
right unless three conditions were fulfilled. The 
suflFerer must be a perfectly voluntary one ; He 
must be so joined to the guilty ones as in a real 
way to infect them with His innocence ; and a 
guarantee must be given that their lives, too, 
should be changed and become like the suflFerer's 

Theories which make the Atonement the pacifi- 

. ; cation of an angry Father, who hated the sin but 

did not love the sinner ; which make it a tribute 

to the devil ; which speak of mere substitution as 

\ii its essence without any thought of kinship — such 

I theories are essentially immoral, and revolt the 

- 232 



God^s Justice 

conscience. But if, as the Christian Church holds, 
the Atonement was the perfect satisfaction of a 
broken law — a law which had to be satisfied 
because it was part of the very thing that made 
God good, as justice is an integral part in the 
character of a righteous nature ; if this satisfaction 
was equally the will of the Father and the Son, 
the Father being the Saviour as much as the Son, 
and the Son hating the sin as much as the Father ; 
if man was first bound to the Son of God in the 
Incarnation by ties which nothing could break, and 
every son of man became to Him part of His 
own body ; if forgiveness presupposes a change 
of heart, and full salvation means salvation from 
the power as well as from the guilt of sin, then it 
is no more immoral for us to be sheltered by the 
name of an Elder Brother than for a prisoner to 
be let out of cells, on condition of good behaviour, 
under cover of the good name of the regiment to 
which he belongs ; it is rather a glorious design, 
only partially understood by us even now, by 
which justice might be reconciled with mercy, and 
the sinner saved without establishing the precedent 
of unpunished sin. 

If, then, that great accusation fall to the ground, 
what do I give you as the message of what we 


God's yustice 

call here Judges' Day ? This — and surely it is a 
glorious one — that every soul may rest with con- 
fidence under the shelter of the justice of God. 
We shall never understand all things here ; we are 
all agnostics in a sense, and shall be to the end ; 
" we know in part and only in part," but we know 
enough to trust God, " Shall not the Judge of 
all the earth do right?" "His righteousness 
standeth like the strong mountains ; His judgments 
are like the great deep." 

What a peace it gives to a restless world ! 

" They drift away I Ah, God, they drift for ever ! 
But overhead the boundless arch of heaven 
Now fades to night, now blazes into day : 
O God ! my God ! Thou wilt not drift away !" 

What satisfaction for the hungry conscience — a 
perfectly just Being at the centre of all things ! 
" The righteous Lord loveth righteousness ; His 
countenance will behold the thing that is just* 

And, above all, what inspiration for life 1 Here 
is a worthy object at last for its aim : 

" There's heaven above, and night by night 
I look right through its gorgeous roof; 
No suns and moons, though e*er so bright. 
Avail to stop me ; splendour-proof ' 
I keep the broods of stars aloof : 


God^s Just ice 

For I intend to get to God, 
For 'tis to God I speed so fast, 

For in God's breast, my own abode. 
Those shoals of dazzling glory, passed, 
I lay my spirit down at last." 




** The kingdom of God is come unto you." — St. Matt. xii. 28, 
"As He is, so are we in this world." — i St. John iv. 17, 

T^HERE is one great statement which brings 
^ more comfort to the human soul than almost 
any other statement in the Bible, " He that hath 
seen Me/' says Jesus Christ, "hath seen the 
Father." What is this unseen Being like ? The 
unseen God is like Jesus Christ, that strong, that 
winning personality : for all time the glory, grace 
and truth of God have been shown to the world 
" in the face of Jesus Christ," But, as so often 
happens, one question answered leads to another. 

* Preached on the Sunday following the meeting of the 
Church Congress in London, 1899. 


The Church and her Ideal 

Have we any witness of the unseen Jesus Christ ? 
We say in one of our most touching hymns : 

"We saw Thee not when Thou didst come 
To this poor world of sin and death, 

Nor e'er beheld Thy cottage home 
In that despisM Nazareth ; 

But we believe Thy footsteps trod 

Its streets and plains, Thou Son of God.** 

Why do we believe it ? Did Jesus Christ leave 
any witness in this world of His unseen presence? 
Does the revelation of the unseen stop with His 
ascension, or is there any living witness in our 
midst to-day to the reality of the unseen Jesus 
Christ? And of course it is quite possible that 
He might have left us none. He might have 
spoken His words and left His ideas, throwing 
them like bread upon the waters, and just leaving 
them to chance to last on down the ages. Certainly 
the evidence of history would be against any 
ideas lasting on for many ages if they were left 
like that. But He might have done so. Or, 
again. He might of course have left a book. 
Some of us remember the great price that was 
ready to be paid for a few pages of a book not so 
long ago, supposed to be the oldest copy of a 
writing of Moses ; but imagine what the world 
would think of a book actually written by Jesus 


The Church and her Ideal 

Christ ! Or, again, He might have done what 
some to-day would certainly have advised — He 
might have entrusted one idea to one society, one 
to another, that so by competition between the 
different societies and different bodies they might 
have spread the ideas which He left. It is, then, 
of the most priceless concern to every single one 
of us to know the way which Jesus thought the 
best for leaving His witness in the world. 

And when we return to what was in His 
mind, it comes out perfectly clear from the 
New Testament : He came, we are told, ** preach- 
ing the kingdom of God." He described it in 
language which has no meaning unless it was to 
be a visible kingdom of God on earth. It was 
to be a grain of mustard-seed growing, ever grow- 
ing, until it filled the whole world. It was to be 
a net cast down into the great sea of humanity. 
He not only described it, but He formed it. 
Why does He pass away from the valley with a 
select few into the mountains and continually 
teach them, leaving for a time the poor and 
the sick and the halt and the blind. He tells 
us. After teaching them till at last they began 
to understand Him, He says in one of His few 
exclamations of joy : " On this rock I will build 


The Church and her Ideal 

My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it."* There in that little company He 
gets at least a nucleus ; this, was what He was 
working for — a body of men who understood the 
truth upon which He could build the thing on 
which His heart was set — His Church for all 
time. With His last breath on the last evening 
He prayed that it might be one, "as Thou, 
Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also 
may be one in us." He prayed that it might be 
visibly one, "that the world may believe, that Thou 
hast sent Me." And as we watch the Church pass 
upon its way moulded, as it was started, by Jesus 
Christ Himself, we get a grasp of His magnificent 
idea : that here in the world to all time should be, 
not a book — though the society would bring a book 
with it — ^but a living, breathing, loving witness, 
to be always like Himself, always so patient, so 
unworldly, so full of strength and life before the 
world, that when men of the world saw it they 
should say, " He that hath seen this hath seen 
Christ," just as he that hath seen Christ hath 
seen the Father. 

Now, it would be impossible in a few words 

♦ See Canon Scott Holland's sermon, "The Rock of the 
Church," in "Creed and Character." 


The Church and her Ideal 

to trace in detail how that body, that society, 
of Jesus Christ, entrusted with His great idea, 
started on its course. It would take far more 
time than we have at our disposal to see how it 
spread, like a great river dividing into three 
main channels ; how in this country, brought here 
probably in the second century and revived in the 
sixth, it was corrupted during the Middle Ages 
by error and superstitions ; how it was purified 
at the Reformation ; how it overflowed its banks 
afterwards into societies, which still belong to the 
soul if not to the body of the Church ; and how 
it exists to-day in our midst, with the same 
organisation, the same sacraments, and with the 
same witness with which it started all those 
centuries ago. No, our task is a far simpler one ; 
it is to ask this question, which we can scarcely fail 
to ask on the Sunday after the Church Congress, 
How far are we — that portion of the Church whose 
mission is to represent our Saviour to the people 
of England — how far are we true to our ideal? 
"As He is, so are we in this world." Is it a 
description, or has it become a sarcasm ? 

Now, last Sunday we said that the Church Con- 
gress would fail in its purpose for us if it was 
taken in any other spirit except that of self- 


The Church and her Ideal 

examination and penitence. We saw that nothing 
could be more fatal than to meet together in a 
spirit of self^congratulation. It so happens that 
in the course of last week we have had some 
very searching questions asked of the Church 
by numbers of its own sons, and out of those 
questions there are four to which we are bound 
to give an answer, however short. It is quite 
certain that if on any one of these four points 
the Church does not truly witness to her Saviour, 
she has been untrue to her great ideal. 

And the first point is. Does she represent Him 
in His kindness to the poor? One able speaker 
told us of all the work done by bodies like the 
Salvation Army, and held them up as an example 
to the Church of what her work ought to be. 
Thank God for all the Salvation Army does that 
is good ! thank God for all that is done by any 
who are inspired by the Holy Ghost through- 
out the length and breadth of England! That 
is what the Church herself says, and in judging 
the Church we must have a knowledge, and an 
intimate knowledge, of what the Church does. I 
venture to say that on this point the Church 
of England, to those who know the facts, comes 
out with a true and splendid record. Whom do 

241 R 

The Church and her Ideal 

we find perpetually at work in season and out 
of season in the slums, positively the only people 
of any education who are giving up themselves 
to live in such poor places? It is the clergy 
and the workers of the Church of England, 
buried in the poorest slums, who are carrying 
on, year by year, without thanks and without 
reward, an unadvertised work for the good of the 
people. You would find that the poor of Eng- 
land to-day, if their voice could speak the message 
of their hearts, would tell you that in" the clergy 
and the workers of the Church of England, especi- 
ally in the poorest parts, they find their best 
friends. There was a Congregational minister, 
whom I knew, of one of the largest and most 
flourishing churches of the East-End who came 
over to the Church, and when we asked him what 
first made him conscious of the great work the 
Church is doing, he gave as his reason that while 
serving on the council at the Mansion House for 
the relief of the poor, he found that not one single 
case came up before us at the Board but was 
known to at least one or other of the members of 
the Church of England who sat upon that Board. 
No, let us go forth from the Church Congress 
to keep this record. There is creeping into some 


The Church and her Ideal 

churches the miserable idea that it is enough to 
stay in the church and let the people come to see 
you. I say, Perish that idea ! It is a new idea 
in the Church of England. Our idea has always 
been, " Go out into the streets and lanes and 
compel them to come in, that My house may be 

Then, secondly, it was more than hinted by 
one or two speakers at the Church Congress that 
the Church of England is a worldly church. On 
such a point we have to examine ourselves, both 
clergy and laity. There is one ugly fact — let us be 
honest — -to which we cannot shut our eyes, and it 
is this : that at this time, when the Church is so 
desperately poor, there is a large falling off in the 
candidates for Holy Orders. It might be urged 
that it is because the young men of England find 
that to be ordained is to be poor all their lives that 
they cease to come forward. But the reason is 
probably a different one : it is far harder for parents 
to find the money to educate the children, it is far 
harder now to send their sons to the public school 
and the University to prepare for Orders. And this 
gives a great chance to those who can. You that 
have children of your own, will you oflTer them now 
in the Church's poverty — offer them now for the 

243 R 2 

The Church and her Ideal 

service of the Church, when there can be no slur 
for a moment on your motives — that you may say 
of your son, "The world shall be crucified unto 
him and he unto the world " ? But if this test 
comes home to those who might come forward 
for Ordination, it must also be applied to the 
laity, in ordinary society as well. If in the city, 
if in society, they find you just as worldly as 
those who make no profession of religion, and do 
not belong to the Church at all, if they find the 
laity of the Church just as sharp in bargaining to 
the point of harshness, just as much set upon 
making a fortune, then we may be perfectly certain 
of this, that hundreds of eyes are on you, and 
that they are watching you as a member of the 
Church to see whether you truly do, or do not, 
represent your Saviour. Instead of repelling with 
scorn the accusation, let us take it to our con- 
sciences, and go forth from this Church Congress 
to live more thoroughly up to the standard which 
St. Paul set when he said : '* The world is crucified 
unto me and I unto the world." 

Thirdly, the accusation was brought against us, 
in a speech that many of us will never forget, 
that the Church has failed as a great peacemaker. 
The Church, it has been said, ought to be the 


The Church and her Ideal 

great Peace Society of the world, and is not ; it 
ought to preach peace perpetually to a passionate 
and covetous age. Have we, or have we not, 
represented truly the principles of peace? We 
are bound to ask the question. Certainly, if we 
have not ; if we have fanned the war spirit as such, 
we have failed as representatives of the Prince of 
Peace. But only those who do not believe in 
prayer will ignore the fact that daily prayer has 
been rising at every service in its quiet way, 
asking the God of peace and the God of battles 
to grant peace to the world according to His own 

There is not a man here who is not a lover of 
peace. But there are worse things than war. I 
associate myself as a Churchman with what a 
leading Nonconformist says : " We long for peace, 
we pray for peace, but a lasting peace is sometimes 
only possible through war." We remember that 
when the commanders of a ship are steering round 
a difficult corner the crew and the passengers ought 
not to choose that time to shout advice in their 
ears. Our leaders are leaders of a free people, and 
though at the proper place and at the proper time 
we hold them accountable, we hold that in silently 
praying for their guidance we best do our duty. 


The Church and her Ideal 

But more than this ; in the war that is upon us 
we have a part to play as a Church ; we have to 
keep the nation calm and steady ; we have to 
discourage that ready trust in accounts of atrocities 
which more than anything else stirs up passion 
and revenge — accounts often exaggerated and often 
found to be untrue. We send out our own dear 
ones to represent their country ; we follow them 
with love, and we follow them with our prayers. 
But we must have spiritual imderstanding also to 
remember that those also against whom we fight 
believe their cause to be right The Boer mother 
who sends out her boy to-day to the battle sends 
him out trusting in God and thinking he is about 
to fight for his country in a right cause. We must 
remember that, we must pray with that feeling, 
and during the whole of this war, so long as it 
lasts, the Church has to do her part in keeping the 
nation in that serious peace-loving frame of mind 
which becomes a God-fearing people. 

Lastly, the Church, if she represents her 
Saviour, must be at unity in herself. " Is Christ 
divided?" asked St. Paul with indignant emphasis. 
And there is no obstacle to the spread of Christi- 
anity anything like so great as the divisions of 
Christendom. I must leave out the underlying 


The Church and her Ideal 

unity between the three main branches of the 
Church, the Roman, the Greek, the Anglican. I 
must leave out that common ground which we 
share with the English Nonconformists, and which 
Mr. Gladstone never failed to notice — the belief 
in the Atonement, the Trinity, and the^ Incarna- 
tion. We have only time to ask this : Is there 
any ground of comfort underlying the divisions 
of our own Church of England } My friends, if 
you would go night after night through a great 
district like East London, you would find the 
underlying unity. I go from parish to parish, 
and I find the High Churchman, with his mission 
services and often his prayer meeting, preaching the 
Gospel in simple language to the people ; I find 
constantly those who are called Evangelical eager 
about Confirmation, greatly alive to bringing their 
people to Holy Communion, and a substantial 
Church teaching and a substantial Church principle 
underlying them all. I have no sense of superin- 
tending a divided Church in East London. And 
if some are asked now for a great sacrifice, to 
exercise a stern self-denial in matters of ceremony 
and custom which have been dear to them for 
many years, we ought to pray, especially at this 
time, that all may have the grace to rise for the 


The Church and her Ideal 

sake of the whole body to this act of true self- 
sacrifice for the sake of peace. 

And so with unity as our great purpose, with a 
true sense of the message of peace in its deepest 
sense entrusted to our care, with an unworldly 
ideal, with a glorious hope of being able to convey 
the love or Christ to the English nation, let us go 
forth from this Congress to our great work. "As 
he is, so are we in this world." We represent the 
unseen Christ. Let us so represent Him that 
many who do not believe Him vriX yet come to 
worship One Whom, not having seen, they will 
love, and, though they see Him not, will rejoice 
in Him with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 




r\EAR brothers, there is only one text possible 
^^ to-day. Every heart in London has been 
feeling it, and the voices of those thousands in 
the streets have been proclaiming it to you — 
"Welcome Home!" They are only two short 
words, but are full of meaning. First, Home. 
You are realising, perhaps for the first time in 
your lives, all that Home means. When you 
assembled here before you started on this campaign 
you had, perhaps, never been away from England 
before, never, at least, for very long ; but to-day, 
as you have come through the familiar streets, and 
seen again well-remembered faces, and grasped 
again the hands of those you love, you know 
what it is to be " at home," and you attach a new 

• An Address to the City Imperial Volunteers, delivered 
in St. Paul's on their return from South Africa. 


'' Welcome Home r 

meaning to the old saying, "There's no place 
like Home." 

And then, Welcome ! We are trying to give 
it you ; we have been preparing it for weeks. 
It is now nearly twelve months ago that the 
call of duty came, and you leapt up from your 
offices, your desks, your comfortable homes, at the 
call " Here we are," you cried ; " Send us." And 
London sent you ; you went out from our midst, 
and nobly have you done your duty. Do not 
think we have forgotten you ; we have prayed for 
you every day in this cathedral and in countless 
churches and chapels throughout the land ; we 
have watched your long marches ; we have heard 
with pride how gallantly you have borne yourselves 
in the hour of danger ; we have counted your 
danger our danger, and your praise our praise ; 
and we receive you back to-day with no foolish 
adulation, but with honest pride and affectionate 
gratitude as sons and brothers who have done their 

But you come home not the same men as when 
you went out. Sixty-three who were here when 
you took leave of us are not here to-day. What 
are we to say of them.? What better than the 
words which will be inscribed to their memory in 


^^ Welcome Honied 

every parish church where they worshipped, "-c4 
sweet and a noble thing it is to die for one's 
country " — a glorious thing to die for Queen, and 
freedom, and duty — and no one, when he comes 
to die, can die a better than a soldier's death. 
That is one thing we can say ; and the other 
is the Christian message — ever old and ever new 
— we shall see them again! Yes! mourners for 
the dead, you who have been given rightly the 
first claim upon the cathedral to-day, it brings 
tears to your eyes to see the others come home 
— full of life and health — and you say, "Ah! 
if only he were here too." But you will see 
your own dear brother or son again. If they 
have died, as we trust and believe, in faith, there 
has been a home-coming of those City Imperial 
Volunteers in another world, and you will find 
them waiting for you in the Eternal Home. 

But in another sense you are not the same men 
as when you went out ; no one can go through 
what you have gone through and be the same ; 
you have been face to face with death ; you have 
seen others of your own age shot at your side, 
and you have found out, if never before, amid the 
grim realities of the battle-field, the need of God. 

What, then, do we expect you to have brought 

^^ Welcome HomeT 

back ? We look for a deeper sense of the great 
reality of life: how short it is; how much we 
have to do in it ; and how, if we are to do any 
good in it at all, we must play the man. And we 
also look for an increased sense of brotherhood 
with your fellow-men, that comradeship of which 
your Honorary Colonel reminded you before you 
started from South Africa, when he said : ** There 
is one thing you can do, and that is to carry into 
the heart of the nation what you now know ot 
the British soldier with whom you have fought 
shoulder to shoulder for some months past. Tell 
every one of his bravery, his endurance, his gentle- 
ness, and his good behaviour. Tell them what a 
noble fellow he is, and how at a moment's notice 
he is prepared to lay down his life for his Queen 
and country." 

Yes! you have fought side by side with men 
from many climes ; you have found courage, 
kindliness and unselfishness in men of every sort 
and kind ; will it not bring you back to us full 
of a belief in human nature, and make you help 
towards the restoration, in every man here and 
abroad, of the Divine Image, help us to make 
possible for the dwellers in our poorest slums the 
life of man ? And, lastly, we shall expect to find 


" Welcome Home /" 

in you henceforward men of God — men whom 
God has brought through many perils, and helped 
in many difficulties, men who believe from what 
they have seen that if they are to have God with 
them in death, they must serve Him in life, and 
that the true man's life is the life lived in God. 

Welcome Home then, dear brothers, and again, 
Welcome Home ; and may the service you have 
rendered your country be an earnest of the 
life-service which you will render to your God. 
May the home-coming of the City Imperial 
Volunteers be the acquisition of a regiment of 
Imperial Volunteers for the Empire ' of Jesus 
Christ, and a force that will never fail the City 
of God. 




" And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he 
lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man 
over against him with his sword drawn in his hand : and 
Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or 
for our adversaries ? And he said, Nay ; but as Captain of the 
host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his 
face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him. What 
saith my lord unto his servant ? And the Captain of the 
Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy 
feet ; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And 
Joshua did so." — Joshua v. 13-15. 

T^HERE are many mistakes which are made 

^ about Christianity, but one of the worst 

and the most fatal and the most common is this — 

that the ideal of the Christian character is a 

womanish character rather than a manly one. 

And the mistake arises from forgetting a very 

simple thing — that the New Testament pre- 

* Preached at the Annual Church Parade of the London 
Rifle Brigade, for the first time as its Chaplain. 


The Happy Warrior 

supposes the old Testament, that when we hear 
so much about gentleness, and love, and forgive- 
ness in the New Testament, it is because it is on 
those points that the Old Testament was so weak. 
God's revelation is a progressive revelation, and 
He teaches the world line by line, bit by bit. 
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, 
sounds a rather bloodthirsty maxim, but it is 
an improvement on what went before — ten eyes 
for an eye, and ten teeth for a tooth. But 
though an improvement on the morality that 
went before it, it needed to be corrected in the 
New Testament, and therefore all this teaching in 
the New Testament about love, and forgiveness, 
and gentleness, supplies the new element which 
the perfect character requires, while it pre- 
supposes the old manly virtues of the Old Testa- 
ment — courage, strength, perseverance. These 
graces are taken for granted as the basis of the 
true Christianity, and no one ever showed them 
more splendidly than did Jesus Christ Himself 
And, as representing these, my comrades of the 
regiment to which 1 ani proud now to belong, I 
put before you the character of the soldier Joshua. 
If you come to look at his character, what 
a splendid soldier he was! We must not 

The Happy Warrior 

judge him by the standard of to-day. Each 
age can only reveal the morality of which 
that age is capable. We do not kill women 
and children when we take a town, and when 
men have surrendered we do not massacre them 
as they did in Joshua's days. No man can rise 
altogether above the standards of his age. You 
must take Joshua as a soldier, and judge him by 
the standard of the age in which he lived ; and 
when you judge him by that, what a fine soldier he 
was, ever ready either for defence or attack ! When 
the Amalekites fell upon the rearguard, Joshua 
was there to repel them in a moment. Defeated 
for a time at Ai, he was not discouraged^ but 
again he tried, and again, and at last he succeeded. 
Up in the early morning, he is off to take Gibeon, 
and when on one famous occasion, which is often 
misunderstood, he saw a storm sweeping up the 
valley which he thought would blot out the day- 
light before he had accomplished the fiill pursuit, 
it is the very keenness of the man that cries out : 
**Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, 
moon, in the valley of Ajalon, until the people 
have avenged themselves upon their enemies." 
Therefore, as we watch this man passing up and 
down before Jericho^ we can sympathise with him, 


The Happy Warrior 

and can understand what he felt. He was like 
Clive before his great battle, alone in solitary 
meditation and prayer before the great crisis. For 
Jericho, remember, was the key of the position. 
If he once could take Jericho — this town that 
confronted him as he walked up and down — he 
knew full well he could win the Promised Land. 
And while he paced up and down in silent prayer, 
suddenly an unexpected Figure stands before him : 
" He looked, and behold there stood a man over 
against him, with his sword drawn in his hand." 
Joshua, who feared no one, instantly challenged 
him : " Art thou for us, or for our adversaries ?" 

" Nay," was the reply, " but as Captain of the 
host of the Lord am I now come." And Joshua 
fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped. 
There you have our first lesson, my comrades. 
The true soldier combines courage with reverence. 
There are some short-sighted, ignorant, foolish 
people who imagine that it is an unmanly thing 
to pray, that people are divided into two classes — 
the manly ones who look after themselves and no 
one else, and the religious ones who take to their 
knees and pray. Joshua, Havelock, Gordon, and 
thousands of splendid soldiers in the field who 
have been devout religious men, answer that this 

257 s 

The Happy Warrior 

conception is a lying delusion. The true soldier, 
the best soldier, the bravest soldier, is the man who 
is not ashamed to pray. If there are any here 
who are still under the impression that to pray is 
womanish, or that a real man's life can be lived 
without prayer, let them look at the great soldier 
Joshua on his knees in prayer. Man is born to 
pray, just as a fish is born to swim. The instinct 
shows itself in sudden accidents. A man who has 
never prayed in his life goes down on his knees 
and asks the Lord to have mercy upon him. Is 
it right to pray in dangers and in crises, and not 
to pray in health and strength ? Surely it is an 
unmanly thing to fly to God in trouble, and not 
to worship Him and serve Him in days of health 
and strength. The first lesson we learn from 
Joshua is to combine courage with reverence, and 
not to be ashamed to pray. 

And then, secondly, look — as we should say, if 
we were playing in a; game of football — look at the 
unselfish game Joshua played. It is not a pleasant 
thing to be superseded when you think victory is 
within your grasp. It is not an easy thing, when 
there is an opportunity coming of greatly distin- 
guishing yourself, to have to handover the command 
to another. The desire for glory, the desire for 


The Happy Warrior 

distinction, is a natural desire, a natural instinct, 
and in its place we need not be ashamed of it at 
all. But the true soldier subordinates his natural 
desire for distinction to his cause, to the glory of 
his regiment. He plays an unselfish game. He 
is looking to his cause or his country, and not to 
personal distinction for himself. A particular 
choice may come to any single one of us at any 
time. We may have to choose between coveting 
personal glory and distinction and being fair to. 
a comrade ; between something which will put 
us high in the sight of men and doing a true, 
unselfish thing ; between pampering our animal 
instincts and trampling some vice under-foot. 
When that choice comes, for God's sake let us 
remember Joshua, and win a greater victory than 
the conquering of Jericho — the conquering of our- 
selves ! 

And so, again, there is a third characteristic of 
the great soldier which we see in Joshua ; and 
that is his splendid loyalty to his orders. If you 
come to think of it, no man ever had more 
apparently absurd orders given him than Joshua 
had on this occasion. Instead of marching at the 
head of his men and conquering Jericho by force of 
arms, he was told for seven days to do what was 

259 s 2 

The Happy Warrior 

apparently perfectly useless — to walk round Jericho, 
and to carry with him the ark of God. Not until 
the seven days had passed was he to command the 
people to shout, and then he was told the victory 
would be within his grasp. Think of the obloquy 
and the scoffing of which this gallant soldier would 
be the object as he walked round the place he 
was apparendy afraid to attack. But, having once 
believed that this heavenly visitor was indeed the 
Captain of the Lord's host, Joshua obeyed his 
orders to the letter ; and because he obeyed them 
to the letter he won the victory. At the right 
moment down went the wallsof Jericho, and every 
man went on straight before him. Has it ever 
occurred to you, my brothers, how much in religion 
is really a matter of order and obedience ? There 
are many things that we cannot possibly under- 
stand, but where the order is perfectly clear we 
must obey. For instance, as we listened to the 
Epistle this morning, we must have thought how 
difficult is St. Paul's teaching about baptism. 
And yet, even if we cannot understand it 
altogether, who is there that can deny that to 
baptize our children and to be baptized our- 
selves are two orders of our heavenly Captain 
given unto all the world ? The command was : 


The Happy Warrior 

" Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel 
to every living creature, baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost." " Suffer the little children to come unto 
Me, and forbid them not." And though we may 
not fully understand all the meaning of such a 
thing as baptism, it is clearly ordered. He never 
ordered anything as a mere form. You may 
be sure there is some deeply spiritual meaning in 
the service He has ordained. Or take, again, con- 
firmation ; not commanded in so many words, as 
baptism was, by Christ in the Gospels, it has always 
been in the Church the complement of baptism : 
" Then laid they their hands on them, and they 
received the Holy Ghost. For as yet they had 
only been baptized." There is no service which 
ought to appeal more closely to the soldier than 
our beautiful service of confirmation, when the 
young soldier comes out clothed with heavenly 
grace before he goes out fully armed into the 
battle of life. 

As with baptism and confirmation, so with Holy 
Communion. It was not meant for the clergy 
or a few select men and women — it was meant 
for the fighting multitude, for everyone who has 
to fight the battle of life, that they may have 



The Happy Warrior 

Divine strength to fight it ** This is My body"; 
" This is My blood " ; " Do this in remembrance 
of Me." This is the order of our Captain, and 
without understanding we ought to obey. 

One word more, and I have done. Have you 
ever thought what a picture of the life of interces- 
sion is presented in that going round Jericho day 
after day ? There is nothing that we have to take 
more on faith than the act of praying for others — 
nothing that appears more hopeless, and to have 
at first so little result. But Christ's command is : 
** Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will 
send forth labourers unto His harvest" Time after 
time we have the command given to us to pray 
for others. The man who was sick, and whose 
friends brought him to the feet of Jesus, was a 
type of successful intercession; for "Jesus seeing 
their faith, said to the sick of the palsy : Arise, 
take up thy bed, and walk." Therefore, the going 
round Jericho day after day in patient, persistent 
obedience to orders is a grand encouragement to 
the life of patient intercession. I put, then, before 
you this character of the true soldier Joshua — 
brave, reverent, unselfish, loyal to orders, as a 
true type of what we ought to aim at being. 


The Happy Warrior 

The poet Wordsworth in a beautiful passage paints 
for us the character of the happy warrior : 

" Whose powers shed round him in the common strife, 
Or mild concerns of ordinary life, 
A constant influence, a peculiar grace ; 
But who, if he be called upon to face 
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined 
Great issues, good or bad for human kind, 
Is happy as a lover, and attired 
With sudden brightness, like a man inspired." 

Whether among poor or rich, among men or 
women, in any age or clime, 

" This is the happy Warrior ; this is he 
Whom every man in arms should wish to be." 



dresses delivered in St. Paul's Cathedral. By the Right Rev. 
A r. WiNNiNGTON Ingram, D.D., Bishop of London. Fifth 
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FRII-NDS OF THE MASTER. A Sequel to "The Men who 

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GOOD SHEPHERDS. Being Addresses delivered to those 
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Lectures. Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo., cloth boards ... o i 6 


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WORK IN GREAT CITIES. Six Lectures on Pastoral 
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UNDER THE DOME. A volume of Selected Sermons on 

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